This week's Mobile World Congress (27 Feb-1 March) saw Fraunhofer IIS launch a lower bit rate version of HE-AAC and give the world's first demonstrations of Full-HD Voice calls over a LTE network, writes Kevin Hilton. Extended HE-AAC (High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding) has been designed to handle both speech and music. It is claimed to improve audio quality at bit rates in the region of 8kb/s, with the capability to improve the quality of existing low bit rate services and carry more audio channels at a given bit rate. "We're trying to develop codecs for every application," comments Fraunhofer IIS spokesman Matthias Rose. "For the future, bandwidth will continue to be a valuable commodity, which is why low bit rate codecs are being developed." Full-HD Voice is hailed as the future for mobile communications and is being used in broadcast for radio reporting, with companies including Glensound Electronics producing specific units. During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Fraunhofer demonstrated Full-HD Voice on Android phones using a LTE (long term evolution) 4G network (pictured). An AAC-ELD (enhanced low delay) codec was integrated into the Android handset to make it ready for Full-HD Voice. "Every day, millions of users already make Full-HD Voice calls over IP connections,” said Harald Popp, head of the Multimedia Realtime Systems department at Fraunhofer IIS. "With the introduction of LTE, now is the perfect time to introduce Full-HD Voice to mobile communications as well." www.iis.fraunhofer.de
Cross-border HD Voice broadcast opportunity
In a world first telecom group Orange has connected the mobile networks of two countries using HD Voice. The higher quality link between Romania and Moldova could signal greater flexibility for broadcasters now using HD Voice for audio reporting.