AES Technical Committee

Audio for Telecommunications

Chair:    Bob Zurek    (Send Email)
Vice Chair:    Antti Kelloniemi    (Send Email)

The mission of the Technical Committee on Audio for Telecommunications is to deal with audio quality issues as they arise in the field of telecommunications. The intent of the committee is to provide guidelines for the design and integration of the audio components of telecommunications systems, to advise industry standard organizations on the audio issues presented by new technologies and telecommunication formats, and to disseminate information regarding telecommunication audio issues to the membership as applicable. It is the goal of the committee to ensure that audio quality and intelligibility are retained as devices decrease in size and new formats are created. The committee will concern itself with both the infrastructure and consumer ends of telecommunications systems as they affect the total system's sound quality.


Areas of Concentration

  1. Accuracy of Reproduction
  2. System Acoustic Echo Control
  3. Vocoders for Telecommunications and Their Effects
  4. Component Induced Noise
  5. Hands-Free/Speakerphone Design and Implementation
  6. Hands-Free/Headset Design and Implementation
  7. System Delay
  8. Audio compatibility with External Devices
  9. Mobile Handset Acoustics and Audio Quality
  10. Wideband Audio Standard for Telephony
  11. Noise effects and its control in telecommunications
  12. Other telecom digital signal processing technologies
  13. Variable Acoustic Load Impedance (Leak Tolerance)
  14. Telecom Device and End-to-End Audio Testing
  15. Voice over IP & Packetloss
  16. Compliance body audio/acoustic education

Recent/Planned Activities

  • Formative Meeting held on 12/1/01 at 111th Convention
  • Meeting held on 5/11/02 at 112th Convention MOC, Munich Germany.
  • Meeting held on 10/6/02 at 113th Convention Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA USA.
  • Meeting held on 3/22/03 at 114th Convention RAI Conference and Exhibition Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • The First TC on Audio for Telecommunications Workshop was held on Sunday, March 23 2003 at 16:00. This was Workshop #7 at the 114th Convention of the AES. The title of the workshop was "HANDSET AND HEADSET TESTING - Beyond narrowband."
  • Meeting held on 10/11/2003 at the 115th Convention Javits Center, New York, NY USA.
  • Meeting held on 10/09/2005 at the 119th Convention Javits Center, New York, NY USA.
  • Meeting held on 10/2006 at the 121st Convention Convention Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA USA.
  • Meeting held on 10/06/2007 at the 123rd Convention Javits Center, New York, NY USA.
  • Meeting held on 5/18/2008 at the 124th Convention Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Meeting held on 10/04/2008 at the 125th Convention Convention Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA USA.
  • Meeting held on 10/10/2009 at the 127th Convention Javits Center, New York, NY USA.
  • Meeting held on 11/4/2010 at the 129th Convention Convention Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA USA.
  • Christopher Struck gave a tutorial session on "Telephonometry: The Practical Acoustics of Handsets, Headsets, and Mobile Devices." on October 22nd 2011 during the 131st convention in New York.
  • Meeting held on 10/22/2011 at the 131st Convention Javits Center, New York, NY USA.
  • The TC_AT organized a workshop on "Audio Hardware in Smartphones" at the 132nd convention in Budapest chaired by Antti Kelloniemi on Thursday, April 26 2012.
  • Meeting held on 4/27/2012 at the 132nd convention in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Meeting held on 10/28/2012 at the 133rd convention in San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • The TC_AT has organized a workshop on "Multi-Microphone Applications and Testing in Telecommunications Systems" chaired by Bob Zurek. The workshop took place at the 133rd convention in San Francisco on Monday, October 29.
  • Meeting was held at the 134th convention in Rome.
  • Next meeting will be on Thursday October 17th from 12:00-1:00pm in Room 1E04 of the Javits Center, New York, NY USA.. This meeting will coincide with the 135th Convention of the AES in New York, NY, USA
  • Christopher Struck will present a product designsession PD3: Telephony: An Introduction to the Acoustics of Personal Telecommunications Devices in Room 1E09 on Saturday, Oct 19 9:00 AM.

Highlights from Meeting (2012 Budapest)

  • Highlights from 27th April 2012 meeting in Budapest.
  • Workshop on audio hardware in smartphones was organized and received high interest. We will know to ask for a bigger room next time. Next workshop will be in San Francisco convention, regarding 2-mic solutions (use cases, algorithms, testing). The move in ETSI to create a European telecoil coupling standard (ETSI ES 200 381-2) was discussed. Next face-to-face meeting will take place in the AES Convention in San Francisco, October 2012.

Emerging Technology Trends

The trend in mobile telecommunications has been toward moving advanced features down in price point to feature phones and using the more advanced mobile devices as a personal computing and multi-media capture and playback devices.

The typical feature phone today exhibits all of the characteristics of a top of the line device of a few years ago with both private mode and hands free audio, multiple microphones with advanced noise reduction capabilities, and Bluetooth allowing a low end feature phone to serve as the center of a personal communications network.

Wideband audio communications has been rolled out in many countries over both cellular and wireless VOIP doubling the audio bandwidth used in speech communications. Multiple VOIP clients are available for download on the major mobile operating systems and many devices come with at least one VOIP client preinstalled.

The last few years have shown smartphones and tablet devices becoming a larger percentage of the total mobile telecommunications devices. They are no longer the niche devices of the mid to late part of the last decade. The move to common operating systems with thousands of applications allows the user to customize their device in ways not possible a few years ago. The downloadable application environments of the major mobile operating systems have allowed different users to take the same hardware and customize it into very diverse devices to suit their needs, from business oriented devices, to media and gaming devices, even as far as using the device as a configurable piece of test equipment.

The integration of sensing capabilities such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, light and infrared sensors into devices have allowed not only manufacturers but also creators of applications the ability to create more natural human interfaces to the device and have allowed the device to more accurately detect the environment that it is in. This allows the device to adapt its operation, to best function in any environment whether the device is being used for multimedia playback, communications, or computing. Voice control of communications devices has progressed to the point where networked voice recognition allows the use of natural language with larger vocabularies than previously possible on a standalone device.

Many people have replaced several individual pieces of mobile electronics with their portable communication device over the last few years. Integration of high quality optics has led to the replacement of still and video capture devices for some. Current devices are capable of both multi-megapixel still photography and HD video capture. Some of the devices feature multichannel audio capture capabilities. The combination of GPS and network connectivity has allowed the portable communications devices to become personal navigation devices with nearly continuous map updates and real time traffic information. The enhanced processing capabilities of separate application processors coupled with the over the air download of applications have led to the use of portable communications devices for office productivity, multimedia playback and authoring, as well as gaming all in a single device.

Current 3G and 4G data rates allow the mobile devices to operate with bandwidths comparable to home based high speed internet. This has led to the use of wireless devices as wifi hubs for a network of devices requiring internet access such as personal computers, gaming systems, automobiles, and televisions.

Many of the advances in handsets of a few years ago have migrated to the edge of the personal network allowing headphones, headsets, and car-kits to achieve handset levels of uplink voice quality. Consumers can upgrade the call quality of older devices, by adding new Bluetooth headsets or carkits that contain many of the same noise adaptive algorithms found in much newer devices. This includes both noise adaptive downlink and advanced noise and echo suppression in the uplink signal.

Following the move towards using the mobile device as a users main device for communication, computing, and media playback has led the creation of a number of multimedia docks, computing docks, and accessories for the devices. In many cases the portable communication device can serve as the hub for the home multimedia system, when paired to or placed in docking systems connected to the home audio video system. It is not uncommon for smartphones and tablets to have HDMI output for media playback on HDMI compatible monitors or sound systems. The creation of Bluetooth mice and keyboards, and laptop docks often in conjunction with HDMI video output has allowed the user to quickly and effortlessly transition from using the communications device as a portable phone to a home computer.

Software updating of not only the applications but also the operation systems allow for the devices to grow in capability after purchase much as personal computers have in the past. No longer is a customer forces to live with the limitations that a device is shipped with for the life of the device or service provider contract. As new features are developed and integrated into operating systems as long as the hardware still supports the new functionality, a user of a year old device can update to many of the features being released in the latest devices.

Over the next few years, the rapid growth in capabilities in the portable communication devices tied with the ever expanding application environments will allow the portable communications devices to evolve into tools unimaginable a few short years ago.

Highlights from Meeting (2013 Rome)

  • This time, TC_AT didn't organize any workshops or tutorials. Also, there is no plan for such activities for the 135th convention.
  • In the meeting, we started planning of a workshop for the next international convention in Europe (136th, spring 2014). The topic could be about recent development in speech codecs used both in circuit switched speech and in Voice over IP communication.
  • Other discussed topics covered the apparent mismatch in broadcast and telecom audio technology development and in novel use cases for smartphones as handheld recorders of sound and video, as video streaming tools, and so on.


Meeting Report:

These documents do not necessarily express the official position of the AES on the issues discussed at these meetings, and only represent the views of committee members participating in the discussion. Any unauthorized use of these publications is prohibited. Authorization must be obtained from the Executive Director of the AES: Email, Tel: +1 212 661 8528, Address: 60 East 42nd Street, Room 2520, New York, New York 10165-2520, USA.

2012-6-11     Meeting report 27 April 2012
Description: Minutes of the Technical Committee on Audio for Telecommunications meeting held on April 27th at the 132nd Convention in Budapest, Hungary

2003-10-11     Meeting report 3/22/2003
Description: Minutes of the Techincal Committee on Audio for Telecommunications meeting held on March 22nd 2003 at the 114th AES Convention in Amsterdam.


Technical Report:

2003-3-21     Emerging Trends in Technology 1/2003
Description: Technical Committee on Audio for Telecommunications Report on Emerging Trends in Technology


Other:

2004-2-18     AES 114th W7: Handset & Headset Testing, Bob Zurek
Description: W7 at the 114th Convention discussed measurement of handsets and headsets, particularly from the perspective of telecommunications. Attached are slides presented by Bob Zurek at the workshop.

2004-2-16     AES 114th W7: Handset & Headset Testing, Paul Darlington
Description: W7 at the 114th Convention discussed measurement of handsets and headsets, particularly from the perspective of telecommunications. Attached are slides presented by Prof. Paul Darlington at the workshop. (Note: Slides are in html file, in the attached *.zip file.) Extract all files (using WinZip) to a local directory, and then open 'index.html' .

2004-2-16     AES 114th W7: Handset & Headset Testing, Joensson et al.
Description: W7 at the 114th Convention discussed measurement of handsets and headsets, particularly from the perspective of telecommunications. Attached are slides presented at the workshop by Soeren Joensson, Bin Liu, Lars B. Nielsen, and Andreas Schuhmacher.

2004-2-16     AES 114th W7: Handset & Headset Testing, Allen Woo
Description: W7 at the 114th Convention discussed measurement of handsets and headsets, particularly from the perspective of telecommunications. Attached are slides presented at the workshop by Allen Woo.

2004-2-16     AES 114th W7: Handset & Headset Testing, Hans Gierlich.
Description: W7 at the 114th Convention discussed measurement of handsets and headsets, particularly from the perspective of telecommunications. Attached are slides presented by Dr. Hans Gierlich at the workshop.

2003-3-21     Telecom Standards List
Description: List of Audio Related Telecommunications Standards


Committee Members

 Andrew Bright  Bob Cochran  Bob Zurek 
 George Pan  Giles Davis  Jason Linse 
 Joe Klinger  Juergen Herre  Juha Backman 
 Jyri Huopaniemi  Marc Ihle  Peter Isberg 
 Scott Mehrens  Simone Koo  Stefan Geyersberger 
 Michael Howes  Jeff Anderson  Khalid Sidiqi 
 John Grant  Jonathan Lane  Joerg Binder 
 Todd Beauchamp  John Oh  John Nygren 
 Dominic Oliveira  Jim Bobisuthi  Osman Isvan 
 Jean-Baptiste Greuet  Miikka Vilermo  Richard Barham 
 Dave Yeager  K . Allen Woo  Christopher Struck 
 Pat Dennis  Robert Baum  Hans Habberstad 
 Gary Spittle  Dr. Scott K. Isabelle  Antti Kelloniemi 
 Derick Hugunin  Rivanaldo Oliveira 

To request membership in this Technical Committee please email the Chair by using the link above.

 
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AES - Audio Engineering Society