How to Deploy High-Definition Voice

High-definition voice is gaining traction in the communications industry. IT managers should know that high-definition voice maintains compatibility with existing systems, so the transition to it is quite straightforward. But, as seamless as the transition may be, Knowledge Center contributor Jeffrey Rodman explains that there are ways to smooth the transition process further. Here he offers some of the most important points IT managers should consider when deploying high-definition voice.

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Calling all IT managers: I have some good news for you if you're thinking about deploying High-Definition Voice in your organization. The move from standard narrowband audio to HD is much easier than the original shift from POTS (plain old telephone service) to VOIP to (voice over IP).

Why? Because HD Voice (also known as Wideband Audio Telephony) uses existing standard VOIP signaling, protocols and networks to carry its enhanced audio bandwidth. So, in many ways, once you've made the move to VOIP, you've already done most of the legwork in deploying HD Voice.

HD Voice makes talking on the phone far more productive and much more pleasant than what you're used to because it restores the two-thirds of the audio spectrum that conventional phones take out. HD Voice makes talking on the phone sound as if you're in the same room as the person on the other end. If you haven't experienced HD Voice yourself, think of High-definition Television (HDTV) or High Definition Radio (HD Radio). Once you've heard and seen the difference, you realize exactly what you were missing. As a result, HD Voice is gaining traction in the communications industry.

The good news for IT managers is that HD Voice maintains compatibility with your existing systems, so the transition is quite straightforward. In fact, it's relatively simple because the protocol is still standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Even better, the data rates are generally comparable to standard G.711. This is a little-known fact-many IT managers incorrectly assume that bandwidth requirements are higher but they are not, so take note!

But, as seamless as the transition may be, there are always ways to smooth the transition process further. So let's take a look at some of the most important points to consider, starting with some hardware considerations.