PSTN digital network – it’s TIME to upgrade past 8KHz!February 28, 2013
Look, internet. Telecom companies. Cell phone companies. VoIP providers. Get this shit straight. It’s 2013 now. We finally have realistic, viable, mass-market electric cars after decades of failures and false starts. We have a digital powerhouse in every pocket. Blindingly-fast 2 megabyte-per-second download speed is the accepted norm for broadband. TV is all on-demand now. Everyone is streaming their life in real-time on Facebook via their mobile phones.
So why in the FUCK are we still forced to endure 8KHz audio as the “norm” for telephone calls? I can’t even hold back here – that is nothing but bullshit. I don’t even answer phone calls anymore. With the mess of cell phones garbling audio quality and working to uphold that 8KHz piss-poor standard, I find myself spending most of my mental effort on the phone trying to decode the words said by the person on the other end, instead of thinking about the topic at hand. The only thing I ever want to do when I get/make a phone call to someone, is how much longer I must endure this conversation before I can get off the phone again.
Sick of this crap. Telecom companies, it’s time to upgrade your standards. The standard should be 44.1KHz like it is for everything else. Digital compression (AAC-ELD, maybe?) is within the realm of possibility for all PSTN connections, so why hasn’t any effort been made to phase in a newer standard? We get crystal-clear audio through VoIP connections that aren’t tethered to this arcane 64kbps/8KHz PCM standard. So why the hell can’t we get digital compression between callers? If you’re worried about loss in digital signals over a PSTN connection (i.e. dial-up modems), then just use a lossless compression scheme to fit higher bandwidth into that 64kbps bandwidth! But FFS, don’t keep screwing real people to make old dial-up crap technology happy. You can detect those signals and automatically apply a different compression scheme to them. Look at what Skype does. It automatically adapts to bandwidth needs in real-time during a call. Why can’t you do that for phone calls?
Get with it, because I’m sick of being afraid of picking up the phone and hearing some garbled 8KHz crap.