STQ * Activity Report

STQ Activity Report 2017

Chairman: Hans Wilhelm Gierlich , HEAD acoustics GmbH

Responsible for standardisation relating to terminals and networks for speech and media quality, end-to-end single media and multimedia transmission performance, Quality of Service (QoS) parameters for networks and services and Quality of Experience (QoE) descriptors and methods

In 2017 our Speech and Multimedia Transmission Quality committee (TC STQ) continued to address growing demand for ‘super-wideband’ (bandwidth up to 14 kHz) and fullband speech communication and multimedia in hands-free and video phone applications. In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the smart home gained greater focus.

Our work is undertaken in collaboration with Study Groups 12 and 16 of the Telecommunications Standardization sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T).

We also work closely with the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™), and TC STQ’s Mobile Working Group regularly revises its multipart Technical Specification (TS) on the QoS aspects of popular mobile services to reflect the latest developments in GSM™, 3G and LTE™.

During the year we published revised versions of our four ETSI Standards (ESs) on transmission requirements for narrowband/wideband Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) terminals (loudspeaking and hands-free/handset and headset) from a user’s Quality of Service (QoS) perspective. We also published revisions to four Technical Specifications (TSs) on transmission requirements for narrowband/wideband wireless terminals (hands-free/handset and headset) to optimize end-to-end quality. Work was finalized on super-wideband and fullband terminals, with publication expected in 2018.

We published a new TS on transmission requirements for wearable devices for speech communication. We completed a TS for the evaluation of multimedia communication performance under parallel physical and/or mental load (dual-task testing).

We published updates of our existing specifications on speech quality performance in the presence of background noise, and a new TS on objective test methods for super wideband and fullband terminals in the presence of background noise.

We worked on updating two parts of our multi-part TS on reference benchmarking, background traffic profiles and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). To ensure the comparability of test results, reference benchmarking methods and background traffic load profiles are needed. 

An updated part covering the high-speed Internet was published, while a part covering VoIP and Fax over IP (FoIP) in fixed networks was finalized.

In the domain of mobile systems, we updated our Technical Report (TR) providing guidelines for the use of video quality algorithms for mobile applications. We also continued updating and extending our TS on QoS aspects for popular services in mobile networks.

During the year work continued on a TS on the QoS aspects of Mission-Critical applications. We also progressed a TR on a framework for multi-service testing, a TR on bandwidth calculations and prioritization in VoIP systems, and three TRs addressing QoS aspects of services related to the IoT ecosystem, the 5G ecosystem and video services.

We are compiling best practices for throughput measurements, with publication of a new TR expected during 2018.

Progress was made on updating our TS on acoustic safety limits. Work commenced on a TS to develop methods for the objective prediction of listening effort, a TS to specify methodologies for simulating reverberation conditions and a TS on Dual Tone Multi-Frequency transmission over VoIP using Real-time Transport Protocol telephony events.

We also started work on a TS relating to voice-controlled devices that employ speech recognition.

Studies have shown that people with impaired hearing may find transmitted speech unintelligible for a variety of reasons including background noise, transmission impairment, the shape of their receiver and coupling between earphones and hearing aids. We therefore finalized a TR aimed at improving listening quality for people with impaired hearing, which will form the basis of a TS that is expected during 2018.

A successful workshop on Multimedia Quality in Virtual, Augmented or other Realities was held during May 2017 in Sophia Antipolis.