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The Sound of Silence PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Brunnen (reporting from Geneva)   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 12:05

In the world of mobile VoIP telephony the extraordinary design flexibility of IP seems to know no bounds.

Horizon Globex at ITU World Telecom in Geneva were demonstrating a truly amazing optimization of voice packet switching – a design driven originally by their foundation business in commercial satellite communications but now re-applied to cellular mobile services.

There is no doubt that the pressure of data throughput for all mobile technologies will only increase and their race to find infrastructure solutions to offload traffic before it hits base stations is leading to a huge potential loss of revenues.

But what if VoIP telephony was reconfigured to nearly halve the data throughput demand? What if users had a choice of different sound quality levels to minimize their costs? What if large businesses could have a choice of off-net and on-net connectivity?

Horizon seemed to have found an answer by simply cancelling the sound of silence. Routed via their servers the mobile traffic is effectively silence-free – with the silences being added back in by the smart-phone software on receipt.

Horizon - iPhone Apps


With this technology the typical listening traffic load can be reduced from 8Kbs to 0.25Kbps – a huge saving in the overall packet load needing to travel through base stations.

The iOS application for this smartphone cleverness is already released – with Android and RIM versions following shortly.

As pictured (left) the user can choose three levels of call quality and the system can work with pay-as-you-go services.

The first adopters of this technology are likely to be Asian mobile operators, and European Mobile Operators (particularly the MVNOs) are being targeted.

The flexibility of infrastructure deployment models and Horizon’s billing systems opens up opportunities for new market entrants and for existing providers who may be bypassed as large businesses seek to get their costs under control.

For more information a presentation (2.3MB PowerPoint)is available on email request to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  



This editorial was written for the Communications Management Association whose members spend in aggregate more than £13bn per annum on networked products and services. The CMA is part of the British Computer Society – the Chartered professional body for ICT professionals.

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The NextGen 11 conference and exhibition (Bristol, November 15th and 16th) will feature presentations on mobile and satellite broadband services in addition to the full range of fixed line (FTTx) infrastructure solutions for delivery of higher quality broadband access.

Full details of the NextGen 11 agenda may be found here. A special discount is available to CMA members.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 12:57

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