8x8 Virtual Office Subscribers to Enjoy HD Calling

Support for HD codec will be a standard feature of the SMB hosted VoIP service.

 By Ted Stevenson
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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 8x8, 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 8x8 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 8x8 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 8x8 to arrange an upgrade.

This article was originally published on Jan 6, 2010
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