What it is:

POLQA is the next-generation voice quality testing technology for fixed, mobile and IP based networks. POLQA was standardized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) as new Recommendation P.863, and can be applied for voice quality analysis of HD Voice, 3G and 4G/LTE networks.

The POLQA standard was developed 2006-2011 by leading industry experts. It is the outcome of a competition carried out by Study Group 12 of the ITU-T, in order to define a technology upgrade for PESQ (ITU-T Recommendation P.862), the state-of-the-art voice quality measurement technique established in 2001. POLQA - which stands for "Perceptual Objective Listening Quality Analysis" - offers an advanced level of benchmarking accuracy and adds significant new capabilities for wideband and super-wideband (HD) voice signals along with support for most recent voice coding and VoIP transmission technologies. Therefore POLQA is ideally suited to evaluate, optimize and monitor the voice quality of next-generation networks.

The POLQA perceptual measurement algorithm is a joint development of OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO, protected by copyrights and patents and available under license as software for various platforms. Leading Test & Measurement manufacturers have adopted POLQA/P.863 in their products, or use this technology during development, design and optimization of mobile phones, Smartphones, network components, or services. It is anticipated that POLQA/P.863 will supersede PESQ/P.862 in the near future.

Evolution of VQ Testing

Who needs POLQA:

Mobile and NGN operators, Test & Measurement and in particular DTT manufacturers for benchmarks of 3G, 4G/LTE and NGN networks who newly invest into this area or have been using PESQ will need POLQA. Today's industry standard PESQ/P.862.x was originally released in the year 2001. But since then, and as visible in a time line diagram above, certain key technologies like speech codecs and 3G/4G evolution have been introduced. While PESQ has proven to be very robust, an updated measurement technology was desirable to overcome recently discovered limitations. POLQA will provide significantly improved benchmark accuracy for 3G, and strong support for testing of most recent technologies such as Unified Communications, Next Gen Networks and 4G/LTE. Besides classical band-limited telephony POLQA will support HD Voice, i.e. 'wideband' and 'super-wideband' telephony up to 48 kHz sampling frequency.

More Information on POLQA Technology

Latest News:

OPTICOM @ MWC 2015, Barcelona

Mobile World Congress 2015

Meet the Perceptual Quality Experts at stand 6M53.

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AUDIO PRECISION adds POLQA Perceptual Audio Testing to APx Models

"When combined with the APx Bluetooth option and APx500's comprehensive suite of audio measurements, PESQ and POLQA make a powerful toolset for engineers working in mobile audio, tablets and Bluetooth accessories", says Tom Williams, VP of Sales and Marketing.


SPIRENT launches Performance Measurement System for HD Voice and Voice-over-LTE

Nomad HD provides a comprehensive package for HD Voice quality measurements and call performance testing to support the evolution of voice services. Using the POLQA algorithm for HD Voice and VoLTE voice quality measurement allows for actionable comparison between legacy circuit-switched and packet-switched voice from the same service provider, across networks and technologies.

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Ascom adds Mobile-to-Mobile POLQA capabilities to Android Smartphones

According to Ascom, TEMS Pocket 13.0 adds convenient and cost-efficient mobile-to-mobile POLQA capabilities to Sony Xperia LT25i devices, thus enabling super-wideband measurements.

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POLQA Coalition Showcasing at NEW ITU Forum

Invited by the ITU, OPTICOM’s CTO Chris Schmidmer and CSO Joachim Pomy represented the POLQA Coalition during a recent New Showcasing event at the Study Group meeting in March 2013. According to Mr. Hiroshi Ota of the ITU-T, this new forum is intended to highlight achievements of successful implementations of ITU Recommendations developed within SG12, such as POLQA.

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45 Operators Worldwide offer HD Voice - says GSA while HD VoLTE launches

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) claims that HD voice is now available in 35 markets including almost 60% of European Union member states; 80 HD handsets on sale. The take-away from this August 2012 report is that adoption of POLQA/P.863 for improved accuracy of wideband voice quality analysis is already past due.


SwissQual's CEO: 'No effect to POLQA Coalition after Acquisition by Rohde & Schwarz'

'The acquisition is a positive statement of confidence in SwissQual’s efforts and leadership in many areas of testing, including contributions to the POLQA standards and the POLQA coalition. There is no intention of changing any of the approach, involvement, partnerships or efforts that have been so successful up to this point in bringing POLQA to fruition. (..) As in the past, POLQA/P.863 licensing will be handled by OPTICOM, and existing license agreements will continue unchanged.'

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Connect again scores Telekom ‘Best German Mobile Network 2012’

Germany’s 2012 popular benchmark run by P3 Communications and the “connect” magazine for the 2nd year builds on POLQA/P.863 to cope with the champion’s nation-wide HD Voice deployment. Vodafone again second, clearly topping O2 and E-Plus.


POLQA/P.863 Licensing now available from OPTICOM

OPTICOM, acting as the sole one-stop licensing agent for the POLQA technology on behalf of the POLQA Coalition, is now offering commercial license agreements for POLQA/P.863. OPTICOM provides professional one-stop IPR licensing along with advanced POLQA OEM software tools for Windows, Linux and Android for a quick time-to-market integration.

How to buy:

  • POLQA for End-Users (Commercial Use)

    Leading Test & Measurement manufacturers have (or shortly will have) adopted POLQA/P.863 in their products covering a wide scope of applications from lab tools, over production testing, network design and optimization to benchmarking and monitoring.

    In order to find out which is the proper tool set for your application, you may look up our reference list of licensed POLQA vendors.

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  • POLQA for Academic/Educational Use

    Academic users who are looking for a download of reference source code on the ITU-T website should consider that Recommendation P.863 is defined by an algorithmic description and pseudo code for some essential parts of it.

    There is no directly compilable source code for POLQA available. In order to support evaluations based on a standard conforming POLQA implementation, OPTICOM – on behalf of the POLQA Coalition

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  • POLQA OEM Licensing

    For professional vendors looking to integrate POLQA into their product or system, easy accessibility to POLQA is assured. The parties to the POLQA Coalition have founded a joint P.863 patent pool with OPTICOM as sole licensing agent.

    This means OPTICOM will provide one-stop IPR licensing along with advanced POLQA OEM software tools for various platforms.

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Who we are:

The POLQA coalition consists of OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO, the group of companies who won the competitive standardization process run by the ITU-T, and KPN, who own essential patents on the TNO technology. The candidates submitted for testing by OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO were the only algorithms that clearly met the criteria in the ITU-T selection phase in June 2010. Thereafter, OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO have agreed to combine their expertise into a joint and uniform solution. This joint solution was standardized as new ITU-T Rec. P.863 (2011). POLQA enabled products are available to end-users in hardware and software from various vendors – see our list of references. OPTICOM acts as the sole one-stop licensing agent for the POLQA technology on behalf of the POLQA Coalition, while SwissQual, TNO and KPN take a more passive role with regard to POLQA licensing.

More Information on OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO