Voran and Catellier designed and executed a testing regime that accelerated speech intelligibility testing that normally would have taken 12 months into two months. Catellier was able to present test results that showed the intelligibility performance of different LTE speech codecs at meetings of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP, the international standards organization for LTE commercial wireless broadband networks). Based on those results, representatives of the United States and five other countries took a strong and unified position on which voice codec is most suitable for the public safety user community, ensuring the next 3GPP release would contain a voice codec that meets the needs of public safety. Voran and Catellier’s work directly informed the international technical standards that will ensure that public safety mission critical voice communications requirements will be met by next-generation commercial off-the-shelf equipment worldwide. The compressed testing regime devised by Voran and Catellier models a fast-response, targeted research effort that builds on long-standing expertise to produce reliable and trusted objective results to inform international standards. Including speech intelligibility testing in future evaluations of voice codecs at 3GPP ensures a single stream evolution for public safety and commercial communications technology.
The work was performed as part of the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program, a joint effort between the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. The research was sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which leads an ongoing effort to enable interoperable emergency communications among 60,000 Federal, state and local public safety agencies. This work directly informed the international technical standards that will ensure that public safety mission critical voice communications requirements will be met by next-generation commercial off-the-shelf equipment worldwide.
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