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.
  • Meeting was held on 10/17/2013 at the 135th Convention Javits Center, New York, NY USA.
  • Christopher Struck presented a product design session PD3: Telephony: An Introduction to the Acoustics of Personal Telecommunications Devices on Oct 19th 2013 during the 135th Convention.
  • Meeting was held on 10/09/2014 at the 137th Convention Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA USA.

Highlights from Meeting (2014 Los Angeles)

  • Highlights from October 9th 2014 meeting in Los Angeles.
  • The first half of the meeting was used to discuss the upcoming Emerging trends report (see below).
  • The rest of the meeting was spent discussing upcoming activities of the technical committee. The committee is planning to organize a workshop for the 139th convention in New York. The workshop will cover the technical challenges in designing the new mobile computing/entertainment/communication platform that the mobile phone has become from various points of view. Panelists will include engineers discussing hardware, software, chipset, codec, environment, and test perspectives.

Emerging Technology Trends

The trend in mobile telecommunications across the globe has been towards devices that are the mobile window into a person’s digital universe. In 2013 smartphones outsold feature phones globally for the first time on a unit basis. Several companies have focused efforts on creating inexpensive smartphones for the emerging markets, where, in many cases, these devices may be the only link those consumers have to the internet and the rest of the world. This expansion has resulted in devices that have many more communications bands and codecs than we have had in the past. It is not uncommon to find single devices that will communicate via UMTS, GSM, CDMA, LTE (VoLTE), and WiFi (VOIP). Some of these modes of communication have to support multiple voice codecs for each mode depending on the network or service provider. In all cases the switching between modes and performance of the system must be seamless, as past performance is no longer acceptable to the consumer.

From a voice quality standpoint, the AMR Wide Band codec is in widespread use globally, and the 3GPP EVS (Enhanced Voice Services) codec has been finalized and is being developed for commercialization.

The audio recording capabilities of the devices have improved to offer high bit rate and 24 bit capture in some cases. There are also many products out on the market that allow multichannel audio recording via internal microphone arrays to compliment the video recording on the devices.

Voice controlled user interface in the mobile devices has become commonplace, with new advances being introduced each product generation such as natural language control, always - on voice recognition that does not require the user to touch the device, and user defined triggers to wake up the recognition engine.

Advancements in usability in all environments have come in the form of noise adaptive technology in voice call, content playback and voice control. Voice communication and voice recognition have benefitted from algorithms that adapt uplink noise reduction or algorithm parameters based on noise type and level. Likewise downlink audio and content playback have benefitted from noise adaptive algorithms. Another new feature that assists the usability in various environments has been the use of smart amplifier technology. The technology constantly monitors the content and the speaker to produce optimal loudness or bandwidth, while maintaining safe drive levels for the speaker. This technology paired with new high voltage amplifiers work together to produce impressive audio quality in many environments.

On the content side of the business, the trend has been from localized content to cloud based content. This has allowed the consumer to consume the same content across all devices, which has posed challenges in the small power conscious mobile devices.

The move from portable phones with a few extra features to the mobile hub of the consumer’s digital world, are reflected in the standards world where the scope of standards as well as their names have had to change to keep up.

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 Zurek  Gerald Schuller 
 Giles Davis  Juergen Herre  Juha Backman 
 Marc Ihle  Peter Isberg  Scott Mehrens 
 Khalid Sidiqi  John Grant  John Oh 
 Dominic Oliveira  Miikka Vilermo  K . Allen Woo 
 Christopher Struck  Pat Dennis  Robert Baum 
 Dr. Scott K. Isabelle  Antti Kelloniemi  Rivanaldo Oliveira 
 Frederik Nagel  Tony Karampourniotis  Roy Silverstein 
 Stefan Gustavsson  Luke Goodloomis 

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

 
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