8×8 Virtual Office Features HD Calling for SMB VoIP

While users of Skype and other Internet based VoIP services have long enjoyed the enhanced sound of HD (high definition) voice—also known as wideband voice—this technology has been slower to penetrate the enterprise or the smaller business markets.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based 8×8, Inc., yesterday announced that its hosted VoIP solution for small business, Virtual Office (see our review here), will now offer HD audio quality—specifically for the company’s own-branded IP phone models 6753i, 6755i, and 6757i (manufactured by Aastra Technologies), which have customized firmware built in. The HD-enabled 8×8 network employs the G.722 codec.

To recap the technicalities of HD, in contrast to the deliberately constrained bandwidth of PSTN (POTS) telephony, high def voice doubles the sampling rate (from 8k to 16k samples per second) and more than doubles the sound spectrum, reaching both lower and higher into audible range. The resulting sound is not only more pleasant to listen to, as 8×8 points out (as have others), it is much more intelligible, conveying vastly more verbal nuance.

New subscribers to Virtual Office will automatically be placed on the new HD-supporting network, while established customers will have to call 8×8 to arrange an upgrade.

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