Hi-Fidelity VoIP: Going Beyond Price

VoIP software provider Trinity Convergence recently announced the release of VeriCall Edge 3.0 Hi-Fidelity, a fully integrated software platform supporting both voice and video over IP. Thanks to its support for wideband codecs including G.722.2 (AMR-WB), MP3, SP-MIDI and RTSP, the company says the new platform offers voice quality superior to current PSTN networks.

Jeff Schline, Trinity’s director of marketing communications, says the company was created to provide embedded VoIP solutions, licensing software to equipment manufacturers for everything from enterprise equipment to consumer devices. “What we’re providing to the OEM and the ODM is a solution that will get them to market faster,” Schline says. “That’s really our whole value proposition: providing something that’s complete, tested, proven, and is going to get them to market quickly with a reliable product.”

According to company cofounder and vice president of business development Mark Felice, the idea is to push VoIP beyond the current paradigm. “We don’t believe that the opportunity for growth is in continuing to drive the ‘cheap or free phone service’ message,” he says. “We’ve been there, we’ve done that; we’ve achieved that, so what’s next? We think that the true promise behind VoIP is to be able to provide a unique communications experience, something that isn’t replicable on the PSTN.”

That includes using H.264 video compression to support high-quality video—which Felice says could ultimately enable the proliferation of personal videoconferencing. “Today, based on Moore’s Law and cost-downs in silicon, we’re able to do that on a cost-effective basis,” he says. “We can introduce fairly rich personal videoconferencing to the consumer on a mobile wireless basis at an effective price point.”

The same is true, Felice says, for wideband voice. “The current VoIP codecs that are being used most typically don’t do well with a lot of dialects,” he says. “The DSP filters in these codecs model the vocal track of a western speaking male—so when you stimulate that codec with something other than a western male voice, you don’t get an optimal re-creation of the original signal. Wideband allows for that: it’s got, obviously, a wider bandwidth range, to more accurately preserve the integrity of the signal.”

Felice says there’s strong interest from OEMs and ODMs both high fidelity voice and advanced video; he says equipment manufacturers are expecting to have products out using Trinity’s new platform before the end of 2006. “We’re getting feedback from the operators that the all-you-can-eat $19.95 or $24.95 unlimited-calling-per-month model is an effective starting point, but these guys are scrambling to determine how they’re going to differentiate their service from a similar bundled offering,” he says.

And Schline says the company has been getting extremely positive feedback. “We’re providing something that’s very stable and reliable, and we’re delivering the interoperability and the things like NAT traversal and other components that really fill out the whole picture,” he says. “The bottom line is, we’re helping the consumer electronics OEMs and other manufacturers to move forward with a nice, easy to use, ready-for-market solution.”

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