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EVS Codec and How It Will Impact Everyday Phone Conversations

When consumers and technology enthusiasts drool over the newest smartphones, they’re generally ogling things like screen size, processing power and storage. The original feature of every phone, making and receiving calls, has become an afterthought. Despite not being the focus of popular attention, call clarity is still a hugely important part of modern smartphones and network technologies. Experts in telecommunications are still working towards improved voice stability and clarity. The Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) Codec, which has been improving calls since 2014, boasts a lot of benefits for HD voice:
  • Greater bandwidth for voice
  • Reduced delay jitters
  • Packet-loss prevention
Calls and video conferences sound smoother and voices are clearer thanks to the EVS codec. Adaptive Multi-Rate or AMR, the initial VoLTE deployment codec, more commonly referred to as HD Voice, wasn’t developed and optimized specifically for LTE. AMR was developed for GSM networks, to improve error robustness by adapting speech and channel coding depending on channel conditions as well as improving channel capacity over the previously-used EFR codec. The EVS Codec was built specifically for LTE and mobile devices, unlike other more multipurpose codecs, and was ratified as the next-generation voice codec in 2014. Codec categorizations are based on the different “bands” of voice and audio transmission on which they can be carried. The early low-quality voice was carried on narrowband. HD voice was a big step up on wideband. Codecs on super-wideband and full band are generally used for music since the quality is so much higher. MP3 and AAC codecs, for example, are full band codecs. EVS can be used for highest quality in full band and super-wideband, as well as narrowband and wideband, which is a step up above traditional HD voice in quality and flexibility. The feature-rich codec can operate with bit rates between 5.9 kbps up to 128 kbps. As with many mobile technologies, the newest iteration is often being released before the previous generation has even been fully implemented. Wideband HD voice wasn’t even widely implemented when full band EVS became the codec to beat. EVS actually has two separate encoding and decoding modes; one for real-time conversations and one for streaming audio. EVS utilized wideband CELP extension for voice. EVS’s capability to handle both music and voice over LTE and Vo5G networks makes it a flexible solution for operators and consumers.

Is There a Downside of EVS?

Potentially – on the network side. EVS is great for consumers as it provides what is essentially music-quality voice, making it a highly desired feature in both 4G and 5G networks. EVS also uses less bandwidth and capacity, which means extended coverage and network resilience (more reliable calling and quality). However, implementing EVS is hardware intensive and can result in high processing capacity per watt costs for media gateways and session border controllers.

Penguin Edge’s Server Add-in PCIe Cards for High Density Vo5G and VoLTE

EVS deployment isn’t always affordable, which is why some networks have held off mass implementation. Penguin Edge’s media processing accelerator PCIe card (PCIE-8130) offers a cost-effective way to increase channel density without adding additional servers for high-density audio application transcoding. Networks can now drastically increase their voice channel density without completely overhauling existing systems, which is an ideal solution when power and space are finite.

Why Is the PCIE-8130 an Ideal Solution for VoLTE and Vo5G Accelerated Transcoding?

  • Available in full- or half-height cards
  • Modular for scaling when subscriber base or needs grow
  • Can be deployed to centralized cloud or edge
  • Packet-based API saves on development time
  • Flexible form factor makes the accelerator deployable in nearly any server platform
  • 4, 6 or 12 Octasic OCT3032 DSPs configurations

Octasic Vocallo firmware

  • Broad CODEC support
  • Field proven in carrier networks
  • Echo cancellation and voice quality enhancement
Contact Penguin Edge at 602-438-5720 to learn more about our VoLTE and Vo5G accelerated transcoding solutions, or read our Audio Transcoding whitepaper.