GSMA MWC 2016 Shanghai – China Mobile and Spirent Demo

Mobile World Congress Shanghai work stationAt the 2016 GSMA Mobile World Congress in Shanghai earlier this year, China Mobile invited Spirent to join their exhibition to demonstrate how much Voice over LTE (VoLTE) improves speech quality relative to legacy GSM voice services. We’ve all seen the studies from independent analysts such as Signals Research Group touting the benefits of VoLTE and the results show VoLTE is clearly superior. China Mobile decided to go beyond the numbers, enabling users to actually experience the advantages of VoLTE by listening to calls on their operational network.

The demo setup consisted of two units of Spirent’s Nomad, four smartphones and two headphones (see picture). The Nomad units used Bluetooth to control each pair of smartphones to make repeated mobile to mobile voice calls. One pair of smartphones made VoLTE calls over China Mobile’s LTE network in Shanghai while the other made GSM voice calls over China Mobile’s GSM network. Both Nomad units used the industry standard POLQA algorithm to test speech quality mean opinion score (MOS). Headphones enabled demo participants to listen to the speech received at the smartphone so they could judge VoLTE and GSM voice for themselves.

Participants reported VoLTE as distinctly and noticeably better than GSM in every case. As the participants listened to the speech via headphones, Nomad also displayed the results of the POLQA speech quality tests being performed on China Mobile’s network. We often observed VoLTE MOS levels that were between 0.5 to 1 MOS point better than GSM. Possible MOS scores range from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent), so a 0.5 to 1 point advantage represents a significant improvement.

Nomad is used by leading service providers and device manufacturers around the world to quantify and compare the voice experience of VoLTE, Wi-Fi Calling (Voice over Wi-Fi), over-the-top and 2G/3G mobile voice services. Nomad works with any commercial off-the-shelf smartphone with no modification required, making it perfect for evaluating the launch readiness of next generation voice services and supporting devices. To learn more about Nomad speech quality, call performance and audio delay testing capabilities please see: http://www.spirent.com/Products/User_Experience_Evaluation.

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