3G mobile and wireless communication networks elicit new ways of multimedia human interaction and communication, notably two-way high-quality audio communication. This is inline with both the consumer expectation of new audio experiences and functionalities, and with the motivation of Telecom Operators to offer consumers new services and communication modalities. In this paper we describe the design and optimization of a monophonic audio coder (Audio Communication Coder -ACC) that features low-delay coding (< 50 ms) and intrinsic error robustness, while minimizing complexity and achieving competitive coding gains and audio quality at bit rates around 32 kbit/s and higher. ACC source, perceptual and bandwidth extension tools will be described and an emphasis is placed on the ACC structural and operational features making it suitable for real-time, two-way audio communication.Audio demos are available at http://www.atc-labs.com/acc/ .
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