The initiative was launched in response to U.K. service providers’ interest in HD voice services, reflected in discussion during a recent Internet Telephony Service Providers Association (ITSPA) meeting. Through workshops and cooperative communication and marketing, the HD initiative is designed to raise awareness and educate service providers about the benefits of HD voice and help them resolve implementation challenges.
The companies joining XConnect in the initiative are market leaders in their sectors of the HD voice ecosystem. Polycom set an early stake in the ground through its SoundStationIP conference phones and SoundPoint desktop phones featuring Polycom HD Voice technology.
BroadSoft is the leading global provider of IP-based hosted communications services to the telecommunications industry. Dialogic is a prominent provider of multimedia and signaling technologies and platforms.
As part of the initiative, XConnect announced that the Global HD Voice Federation is now open to HD voice-enabled service providers globally, following its successful launch in the United States. First to join from the U.K. are service providers Simwood, SureVoIP and thevoicefactory.
The federation enables the exchange of HD voice calls among all participants, all interconnecting through XConnect’s carrier hub and routing through phone-number lookups via its carrier ENUM registry.
HD voice enables users to experience clearer, higher-quality and more effective voice communication through the use of wideband codecs on IP networks. However, in most cases, to benefit from improved sound quality, callers must be on the same network. XConnect has established the HD federation to allow cross-network support for HD voice and potentially for multimedia IP-based services, such as presence and video.
“The U.K. is ripe for HD voice due to increasing migration to IP and the quest among service providers to differentiate their offerings and deliver greater value to their customers,” said XConnect CEO Eli Katz.
He added, “We are delighted to have facilitated the world’s first cross-network international HD voice calls via a federation – a step that paves the way for global mass-market adoption of HD voice.”
Explaining why his company has joined the HD federation, thevoicefactory CEO Martin Sims said: “We realise that to compete effectively where broadband is a given, we have to move ahead of the pack. In a business market where many different languages and accents are the norm, high-definition voice will help us add value to our services.”
For more information on HD voice, please visit www.xconnect.net/hd.