27 HD Voice Mobile Handsets and Counting-Who Cares?

I wrote a post this week about the frequencies available for LTE. I thought I would do a post covering the progress of LTE handsets. The GSMA has published a list of 28 devices that support AMR-WB (G722.2). Although the first AMR-WB HD enabled handset was first deployed in September of 2009, last year Orange’s announcement of an AMR-WB handset had become the single poster boy for mobile HD voice. In fact today there are HD services deployed in 15 networks in 14 countries throughout the world. The majority of the handsets are offered by Nokia and Sony Ericsson:

With LTE coming on quickly and the need for mobile operators to complete with fixed-line VoIP quality, HD Voice will become one of the battleground areas. In-Stat predicts that Mobile VoIP will be $32.2 billion by 2013 and by 2019, half of all mobile calls will be made over all-IP networks. However, this will quickly become table stakes and move the telecommunications services war to the messaging and video arena. Even more, the integration of HD Voice and rich messaging and video capabilities will become increasingly more important to different carrier services to end-users. I think this is why you saw the announcement of Thrutu (a division of Metaswitch Networks) this month. It’s rich multimedia services without RCS. They have kept focus on the benefit of what RCS promised without the baggage to make it happen. At least that’s how I see it. The salient point are no inter-carrier considers to make the service work like there is in the mobile network today for SMS and MMS. It’s MNO roaming independent and eliminates the need for any type of network peering or federation. Over at CounterPath we have the same approach as it relates to our mobile and desktop endpoints. We have made a common endpoint platform that does not require any special network infrastructure to provide rich voice, messaging and video services. We also have added server products to maximizing operator value for mashed-up services across fixed and mobile networks. This translate into a big opportunity for the Mobile VoIP and Convergence markets. All this without RCS or specialized LTE handsets.

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