This sort of sleight of hand is disappointing to see, as its just not an honest representation of a situation where Telstra are catching up to the rest of the market (or rather, are promising that they'll do so). They're launching a service using this 'digital voice' in a month. Are they really spending $600 million on upgrades in just 30 days, or again, is this figure really just the size of their marketing budget?
2. 'High definition audio' is a feature of the current generation 'Fritz!Box 7390'³ and 'Fritz!Box 7270'³ Home/SME ADSL2+ routers that are sold by Internode today.
HD Audio is a standard capability of VoIP services using sufficiently good VoIP hardware (and the Fritz!Box products are simply at the top of the heap in this regard). The quality delivered by a Fritz!Box using its DECT cordless handsets, when calling another HD Audio endpoint (another Fritz!Box or otherwise) is so good that it's really quite spooky '” far and away better in quality than a traditional PSTN phone call. And of course dramatically lower cost (for instance, unlimited NodePhone VoIP to NodePhone VoIP calls on the Internode service are free of per-call charges entirely).
HD Audio uses a standard VoIP CODEC (G.722). This is not a Telstra innovation in any sense. It is, again, Telstra catching up, late and last, with capabilities that its competitors in this space have been offering to the market already.
Finally, and a key point here '” while Telstra are framing VoIP as being somehow inadequate for consumer requirements, they are deeply in negotiation with NBN Co to turn off their copper network and move all their voice endpoints nationally over to the NBN. Guess what '” the voice ports on the NBN customer termination boxes are actually '¦ VoIP hardware. On the NBN, your 'PSTN' service will be turned into VoIP right in the NBN Co fibre termination box and the call will be carried via standard VoIP/SIP protocols '” exactly as all VoIP providers already do today.
There is a deep sense in which the statements made about VoIP by Telstra today are simply trying to deflect its own status as the last adopter of this technology by claiming that it is somehow not going to be good enough until Telstra 'invents' it via some mysterious magical property imbued upon it by calling it 'digital voice' instead of VoIP.
It's like IP Multicast '” a technology that Internode and others use to deliver highly efficient linear TV channels using our FetchTV service. We can't sell that to customers of ours that we reach via Telstra Wholesale ADSL2+ services, because Telstra haven't yet seen fit to 'invent' IP Multicast. So in their world, it doesn't exist.
Sorry, but it does. And so does High Definition, high quality VoIP services. Sure, you have to use appropriate hardware at the customer end point (like a Fritz!Box) and you need your network to be built properly.
But everyone in the industry 'cept Telstra already does these things today.
Image credit: Internode