Nokia Makes History With World’s First Immersive Voice Call

The Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, Pekka Lundmark has made a phone call using a new technology called “immersive audio and video” that improves the quality of a call with three-dimensional sound, making interactions more lifelike.

The Finnish smartphone maker announced this development in a statement obtained from its website on Tuesday.

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The call was made with Finland’s Ambassador of Digitalization and New Technologies, Stefan Lindström, enabled by the new Immersive Voice and Audio Services (IVAS) codec technology, which is part of the upcoming 5G advanced standard.

The IVAS codec allows consumers to hear sound spatially in real-time instead of today’s monophonic smartphone voice call experience.

Lundmark demonstrated the distinctive acoustic dimensions that can be experienced with the new IVAS technology to Lindström while calling him from Nokia’s campus in Espoo.

The President and CEO of Nokia said, “We have demonstrated the future of voice calls. This groundbreaking audio technology takes you to the caller’s environment, creating a spatially and massively improved listening experience for voice and video calls and offering significant benefits for enterprise and industrial applications.”

Nokia was able to successfully demonstrate the IVAS technology in a real-time call, even though the technology has not yet been implemented in mobile networks.

This first live call used Nokia’s proprietary Immersive Voice technology to achieve the same experience over a public 5G network.

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Finnish Ambassador Lindström said: “The live immersive voice and audio experience enabled by IVAS improves the richness and quality of the call, and the three-dimensional sound experience makes interaction more lifelike and engaging, bringing a wealth of new benefits to personal and professional communication. Immersive communications technology will also take XR and metaverse interaction to the next level.”

The IVAS codec technology enables live spatial audio across any connected devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, or PCs), bringing people together for real-life interaction with three-dimensional sound. It is the biggest leap forward in the live voice calling experience since the introduction of monophonic telephony audio used in smartphones and PCs today.

The President of Nokia Technologies, Jenni Lukander, said: “I am proud of the leading role Nokia’s researchers and engineers have played in creating these innovative immersive voice and audio technologies. Thanks to standardization, the whole world will now benefit from this innovation.”

The 3GPP IVAS codec standard has been developed by a consortium of 13 companies under the framework of the IVAS codec public collaboration.

Nokia has been a leader in these standardization efforts and has contributed major parts of the technology to the standard, including the development of a smartphone-specific format for the IVAS standard.

Including this innovation in a worldwide standard is the key to enabling interoperability between operators, chip manufacturers, and handset manufacturers, making spatial communication available to all.

Nokia is a leader in standards development and holds one of the world’s strongest patent portfolios of connectivity technologies, with over 20,000 patent families, of which over 6,000 are declared essential to 5G.

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