Libyan Rebels Keep GSM Network Going

Aljazeera has a long, interesting article detailing how engineers kept cell service online in the rebel-controlled eastern part of Libya.

According to reporter Evan Hill, Gaddafi’s government severed a fiber cable connecting Tobruk in the east to Ras Ajdir in the west. Without access to central HLR servers, a GSM network element containing a registry of cell phone numbers, service was lost in eastern Libya.

But a separate cell provider, Libyana, was able to restore voice communication by configuring a spare HLR located in Benghazi.Continue reading

Wideband Audio Anyone?

Glad I’m not the only curmudgeon who’s troubled by the state of 21st century audio! The lower quality of digitally compressed MP3 (compared to CD ) made the front page of yesterday’s New York Times. Economics and convenience are to blame for the lossy, lower-sampled recording formats that are used to cram more tunes into our portable devices.

So why are our cell phone conversations still stuck with a slice of audio spectrum that dates to the 1930s? I’ve written about a newer wide band codec (G.722 standard) that could deliver a far broader 7kHz of sound. Unfortunately, you’re more likely to experience that on station-to-station calls in a large corporate environment (courtesy of Avaya, Cisco, and other enterprise players).

Outside of the confines of an office park, we’re all struggling to make ourselves heard over a skinny, tinny sounding 3.3kHz swath. I found some of the answers as to why this is the case from a presentation given at this year’s eComm event.Continue reading