© Fraunhofer IIS, Kurt Fuchs

T-Mobile USA launches EVS service

EVS is the new 3GPP audio codec for Voice over LTE services with superior speech and audio quality co-developed by Fraunhofer IIS and is the latest upgrade to T-Mobile USA’s network. It offers substantial improvements in the quality of voice calls compared to regular or HD Voice calls. T-Mobile USA is the first operator in the world to announce the introduction of EVS in its VoLTE network. With the launch of the first EVS enabled smartphones at Mobile World Congress in February, the codec is about to change the way we all experience phone calls.

We all try to keep pace with the rushing world and communication today is essentially based on phone calls: We call our children to hear their excitement and first impressions about their football match, we can reach our friends in other countries to congratulate them upon their wedding, and we negotiate important agreements with the business partners over the phone. It’s no surprise that everyone has experienced frustrations from poor call quality, especially with their mobile networks. The good news is call quality will significantly improve in the future – and the future starts today.

Up to 20 kHz audio bandwidth

EVS is the 3GPP conversation codec for Voice over LTE and other communication systems which revolutionizes the speech and audio quality of phone calls. Capable of supporting up to 20 kHz audio bandwidth, the codec delivers speech and audio at a level of quality that is comparable to being eyeball to eyeball with your dialogue partner, noticeably outperforming HD Voice and legacy phone calls. In addition, EVS contains an extensive feature set including an elaborate error concealment mechanism, a channel-aware mode and powerful jitter buffer management. As a result, EVS offers high robustness to counter difficult conditions in the mobile channel.

Available today

The first operator to introduce the next-generation technology is T-Mobile USA. The carrier announced the “upgrade in customers’ network experience” during the first week of April in the blog post “T-Mobile’s Next Network Upgrade” by Neville Ray, CTO of T-Mobile USA (https://newsroom.t-mobile.com/news-and-blogs/volte-enhanced-voice-services.htm). The first smartphones supporting EVS were introduced at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, for example, Sony Xperia X Performance, LG G5, Xiaomi MI5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7. Additionally, T-Mobile affirms that by the end of the year EVS will be available on seven branded smartphones. According to T-Mobile, subscribers using an EVS-compatible phone benefit from the enhanced speech and audio quality even if the person on the other end is not using an EVS-capable device. The operator promises a universal delivery both over Wi-Fi and LTE networks and an overall improved voice call reliability.

The future of mobile communication promises to sound more realistic and reliable, as EVS enables impressive communication services over mobile networks.

Header image © Fraunhofer IIS/Kurt Fuchs

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