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Thread: Call Quality, Where Has It Gone?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabesh
    I know someone who runs a hearing aid business. Let me know if you need a custom fitting

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    Quote Originally Posted by wirelessgal
    SE did lower the earpiece volume. This was discussed in the SE forum when the w810i came out to Rogers and everyone was complaining about the low earpiece volume, then soon after the k790a. Off topic, when SE came out with the w600i, everyone was complaining about their battery covers flying off. My brother had one and all you had to do was shake the phone abit and it would fall off. SE immediately discontinued the handset. Then when the w810i was released, the majority of the users had a very hard time opening the battery cover. It took the jaws of life to pry the battery cover open. Even cell phone shops had a hard time with it and some members and shops figured out a way to open it. The p990i is a perfect example of SE taking it to the extreme. Google it and you will find a link where a guy used a knife to try and open the battery cover and ended up cutting himself and I believe it took him about an hour to get it open.

    There is no doubt that Nokia and SE cators more to Europe and Asia. Perhaps it has to do with the frequency they are using. The fact that my N95-4 has a much lower earpiece volume than my Bold and Motorola v3xx doesn't make any sense that Rogers' network is to blame. How is it that RIM and Motorola have excellent call quality and the calls are loud, but Nokia and SE falls short of this? It's the manufacturer and possibly the Rogers branding might have something to do with it. I have read cases where people have unbranded a Rogers phone and the earpiece was abit louder.
    I have tried Motorolas on Rogers and yes most of them are louder than their Nokia & SE counterparts. Except the 1st Moto Razor which had very low earpiece volume.

    However I still maintain that those phones have probably had their earpiece volume boosted to cater for deficiencies in North American implentation of GSM.

    What I am trying to say is, if you take the very same Rogers branded Nokia or SE handset, in London use it on any of the networks, you will suddenly find, the call clarity is far superior and the earpiece volume experience as good as you find the motos in Canada.

    So therefore we know that Nokias and SE are capable of more than adequate
    earpiece volume (in fact you have to turn the volume to about 3/4)
    on Networks in Europe and Asia.

    Then we also know that for the very same SE or Nokia handset, using the original microcell network, resulted in volume that was approx 20% louder than Rogers.

    So the only conclusion is that there is some deficiency in the Rogers network.
    What other conclusion can there be ?

    As Motorolas are mainly sold in the North American market, they have probably compensated the volume in some way. The newer Nokias also compensate by boosting volume with the 'voice clarity' feature, which makes them adequate.


    Quote Originally Posted by wirelessgal
    3G definitely enhances call quality and RF. This topic has been beaten to death. When my Bold loses 3G and goes to 2G, the calls are nowhere as clear when it's on 3G. That's a proven fact.
    Like I said, on Rogers and on AT&T this is true. So on Rogers you can say that is a proven fact.

    However In UK, I have switched between 2G and 3G on Orange, T Mobile and you cannot notice the difference. In fact 2G on Orange was marginally better than 3G voice on the Three network.

    Now we know Rogers doesnt use half rate codec, so therefore we can only conclude that their GSM implementation was sub par.

    Regarding frequency, I have asked about this and technically it should not make any difference whether you are on GSM 850 / 1900 or 900 / 1800.

    However this still does not explain how come the original microcell network was louder on 1900
    Last edited by fido2004; 07-04-2009 at 03:27 PM.

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    I'm not sure if there is a difference between North American and European networks in terms of call quality, but here are my own experiences.

    Being European and living in Europe my main experience is with European networks. I write for and post on several mobile forums/blogs and there is a curious trend. On the European sites very few people, if any, complain about call quality or loudness, whereas I have seen this sort of thread crop up on North American forums. In terms of 2G and 3G they sound exactly the same to me in the UK and of course when the handset switches between them mid-all I really can't tell the difference.

    My experience with North American networks has been limited to short periods with AT&T and T-Mobile. I can't say I had major issues with either in terms of call quality (reception was another matter).
    "I may be drunk my dear woman, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly." WSC

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    Quote Originally Posted by fido2004
    I have tried Motorolas on Rogers and yes most of them are louder than their Nokia & SE counterparts. Except the 1st Moto Razor which had very low earpiece volume.

    However I still maintain that those phones have probably had their earpiece volume boosted to cater for deficiencies in North American implentation of GSM.

    I don't think Motorola boosted their earpiece volume for North America. Motorola's are known for their strong RF and excellent call quality. When I'm on a long call, I will either use my Bold or my Motorola v3xx because the call quality is superior to Nokia and SE.

    Quote Originally Posted by fido2004
    What I am trying to say is, if you take the very same Rogers branded Nokia or SE handset, in London use it on any of the networks, you will suddenly find, the call clarity is far superior and the earpiece volume experience as good as you find the motos in Canada.

    So therefore we know that Nokias and SE are capable of more than adequate
    earpiece volume (in fact you have to turn the volume to about 3/4)
    on Networks in Europe and Asia

    In terms of SE, this again goes back to the lawsuit in the U.S. SE's earpiece used to be loud. Because they lost the lawsuit, they lowered the earpiece volume for North America. I strongly believe that the bandwidth have a lot to do with call quality. So is it possible that Nokia and SE sound clearer using 900mhz?


    Quote Originally Posted by fido2004

    Like I said, on Rogers and on AT&T this is true. So on Rogers you can say that is a proven fact.

    However In UK, I have switched between 2G and 3G on Orange, T Mobile and you cannot notice the difference. In fact 2G on Orange was marginally better than 3G voice on the Three network.

    Now we know Rogers doesnt use half rate codec, so therefore we can only conclude that their GSM implementation was sub par.

    Regarding frequency, I have asked about this and technically it should not make any difference whether you are on GSM 850 / 1900 or 900 / 1800.

    However this still does not explain how come the original microcell network was louder on 1900

    Ok so you know it's a known fact that 3G enhances call quality on the Rogers and Fido network. So why not use a 3G phone and get better call quality? By comparing and wondering why the same handset sounds better in Europe isn't going to solve anything. It is clear that you are not happy with the call quality on the Fido/Rogers network. Then get a phone that does. I don't know if you're still using the 6300. If so, then get a good 3G phone that will give you excellent call quality. I talk a lot on the phone and I never get any complaints when I'm using the Bold or my v3xx. I don't bother buying 2G phones anymore.

    In terms of frequency, it absolutely does make a difference. When Rogers switched from TDMA to GSM, they were using the 1900 band. The call quality was not good and RF is horrific. Soon after, they switched to the 850 band and I noticed a huge improvement. I remember when Fido came into the GSM world and they had nothing but complaints about dropped calls and poor call quality. I've known many people switched to another provider because of that reason. It was later that they improved on the 1900 band.
    Rogers started lowering the towers for the 1900 band last year so that might have something to do with the decrease in volume with Fido because the Fido towers are still being used. Even though they are mainly using 850, if the network is flooded, it will switch to the 1900 band. That's the only thing I can think of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wirelessgal
    I don't think Motorola boosted their earpiece volume for North America. Motorola's are known for their strong RF and excellent call quality. When I'm on a long call, I will either use my Bold or my Motorola v3xx because the call quality is superior to Nokia and SE.




    In terms of SE, this again goes back to the lawsuit in the U.S. SE's earpiece used to be loud. Because they lost the lawsuit, they lowered the earpiece volume for North America. I strongly believe that the bandwidth have a lot to do with call quality. So is it possible that Nokia and SE sound clearer using 900mhz?





    Ok so you know it's a known fact that 3G enhances call quality on the Rogers and Fido network. So why not use a 3G phone and get better call quality? By comparing and wondering why the same handset sounds better in Europe isn't going to solve anything. It is clear that you are not happy with the call quality on the Fido/Rogers network. Then get a phone that does. I don't know if you're still using the 6300. If so, then get a good 3G phone that will give you excellent call quality. I talk a lot on the phone and I never get any complaints when I'm using the Bold or my v3xx. I don't bother buying 2G phones anymore.

    In terms of frequency, it absolutely does make a difference. When Rogers switched from TDMA to GSM, they were using the 1900 band. The call quality was not good and RF is horrific. Soon after, they switched to the 850 band and I noticed a huge improvement. I remember when Fido came into the GSM world and they had nothing but complaints about dropped calls and poor call quality. I've known many people switched to another provider because of that reason. It was later that they improved on the 1900 band.
    Rogers started lowering the towers for the 1900 band last year so that might have something to do with the decrease in volume with Fido because the Fido towers are still being used. Even though they are mainly using 850, if the network is flooded, it will switch to the 1900 band. That's the only thing I can think of.
    No Im not using the 6300 at the moment. (profile needs updating) however when I did have the 6300, On Rogers I would have to max out the volume at enable the 'voice clarity' feature - known to boost volume (refer to Steve Punter's Site) In Europe, very same handset, 3/4 volume was more than loud enough.

    Im using the Nokia 3120 classic at the moment. I have used Apple iphone,
    Nokia N95, Nokia 5800 etc...

    As I said, yes 3G does make a difference on Rogers but not elsewhere around the world that much.

    All I am trying to say is, that you stated the SE, Nokia phones have low earpiece volume. What I replied, is that the blanket statement is incorrect.

    If you said SE and Nokias have low earpiece volume on the Rogers Network, then that is fair enough.

    No I am not that happy with Rogers network quality, for the simple reason that the discussion we are having now, we wouldnt be having it, if the network was set up correctly. These forums are full of, "How is the earpiece volume of such and such a phone ? " " How is the sound quality ? "
    You have to go through quite a bit of trial and error in order to find a suitable phone and that should not be necessary in Canada, when its not necessary in other parts of the world.

    I certainly hope with new competition on the Horizon, that they pay particular attention to voice clarity and volume.'

    Whenever you get the chance to experience just simple 2G gsm in Europe or Asia, even you will feel, " If this can be done here, why can't this be done back home ? "

    I am not sure if the frequencies make much difference, however I do know that in Europe they use 900, 1800 and 2100 and they dont seem to have problems, in the different frequency ranges as far as voice quality and volume are concerned in any of these bands.

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    ^ Wirelessgal: I sincerely respect your personal preferences & thank you for sharing w/ your observations. But plz DON'T explain/link/assume your "observable facts" as "laws of Physics". Anyone who has the relevant professional engineering knowledge would tell you many theories of yours are invalid or simply "not the reasons why". What you've observed are just limited to "limited settings" w/ many diff phones, even though many others can observe under the same settings.

    Network optimization invovling diff air-interfaces/tech/bands/codecs/RF characteristics are complex & couldn't link a factor or two as the sole contributing elements. TDMA, GSM, WCDMA/UMTS requires diff solutions/tweaks before the network becomes "better" optimized. Diff phones, even from the same manufacturers, have got diff baseband/audio/components/chipsets from diff suppliers which also contribute to the the audio & RF performance, in a way affecting the call quality on the one side of the equation. Both GSM & WCDMA/UMTS networks operated by Rogers are using the SAME codec: AMR. FR/EFR/HR could no longer be applied because it's forced by the switch, not our phones. The detectable diff, to many, should be the occasional "in & out pops" due to hand-offs in GSM, no longer exists for WCDMA/UMTS. Spectrum allocation specifically for mobile comm has no bearing on "better/worse" audio quality, let alone the relative earpiece vol. This is rather the config/paramter of a particular network. When Rogers started to integrate the Fido network infrastructure into its own, the config/parameters becomes what Rogers' been using. Of course, they're diff but NOT because of spectrum inherited from Fido is diff. (It also applies to TDMA > GSM migration by the same token).

    I dedicate my 3000th to you: not picking a fight; not infringing your privilege to post; but opinion w/ sound advice from one HoFo to another
    Last edited by Moderator HF 25; 07-08-2009 at 12:25 AM.

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    HF25, thanks for dedicating your 3000th post to me and congrats!

    I guess we can agree to disagree. Motorola's and Blackberry's have never failed me in the call quality department. This includes call clarity, loudness and overall excellent sound. I will standby what I said in my other posts and that is SE did lower their earpiece volume because of the lawsuit in the US a few years back.

    I am just a phone user reporting what I have experienced from several Manufacturer's.

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    ^ Wirelessgal: you still don't get it & it's irrelevant whether we agree/disagree.

    *Nobody disputes your first-hand experience, personal preferences & observations w/ various phones from diff manufacturers. I just tell you NOT to link these observable facts as "conclusive reasons" to explain/interpret/assume the laws of Physics w/o thorough understanding of the subjects.

    *3G won't magically make calls sound "better"/"worse" than GSM counterparts.

    *Network optimization takes time & nothing to do w/ specific spectrum overlay would magically make calls "better"/"worse" overnight.

    *Spectrum allocation specifically for mobile comm has nothing to do w/ audio quality experienced by the end-users.

    *The "lawsuit" against Sony Ericsson you're alleging, couldn't be found in any archive. Perhaps you can provide a specific court case number. There's a class action suit, however, against Motorola over Bluetooth headsets' vol leading to hearing loss http://www.wcclaw.com/CM/ClassAction...tooth-Suit.asp

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    Quote Originally Posted by fido2004
    However I still maintain that those phones have probably had their earpiece volume boosted to cater for deficiencies in North American implentation of GSM.

    So the only conclusion is that there is some deficiency in the Rogers network.
    What other conclusion can there be ?

    Now we know Rogers doesnt use half rate codec, so therefore we can only conclude that their GSM implementation was sub par.
    There are no "deficiencies" at all --- it's like the Miller Lite commercials ("Great Taste... Less Filling") --- there are 2 different (separate and opposing) issues that carriers have to deal with.

    The "newer" and "smarter" AMR codec is designed to squeeze even more subscribers in the same channel at "approximately" the same sound quality. "Approximately" means sound quality will go down.

    Canadians talk about 500-600 minutes per month vs. Europeans talk about 200 minutes per month. Something's got to give in terms of sound quality in order to give you that many minutes to talk per month.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator HF 25
    ^ Wirelessgal: you still don't get it & it's irrelevant whether we agree/disagree.

    *Nobody disputes your first-hand experience, personal preferences & observations w/ various phones from diff manufacturers. I just tell you NOT to link these observable facts as "conclusive reasons" to explain/interpret/assume the laws of Physics w/o thorough understanding of the subjects.

    *3G won't magically make calls sound "better"/"worse" than GSM counterparts.

    *Network optimization takes time & nothing to do w/ specific spectrum overlay would magically make calls "better"/"worse" overnight.

    *Spectrum allocation specifically for mobile comm has nothing to do w/ audio quality experienced by the end-users.

    *The "lawsuit" against Sony Ericsson you're alleging, couldn't be found in any archive. Perhaps you can provide a specific court case number. There's a class action suit, however, against Motorola over Bluetooth headsets' vol leading to hearing loss http://www.wcclaw.com/CM/ClassAction...tooth-Suit.asp

    HF25, so essentially you're saying 3G does not affect voice? 3G is for voice and data. And I'm not referring to the ability to use voice and data at the same time. Voice goes over 3G, therefore making the calls more clearer than on 2G.

    Here's a thread from Hofo discussing 2G vs 3G voice quality. While some don't notice a difference, the majority agreed that 3G does affect call quality.
    I agree that a carrier's network is partially to blame for poor call quality, however choosing the right handset makes a big difference. You can't expect a $50 GSM phone to sound just as good as a $400 3G phone.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1497433


    I don't know the court case number. I read about the lawsuit when the w810i was released and everyone was complaining about the low earpiece volume. I know about the Motorola class action suit.

    I want to add that I simply responded to the OP's question. Perhaps I should've said, "IMO, Motorola has the best call quality in the industry". However Motorola's Crystal Talk Technology is extremely effective.
    I will leave it at that.

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    ^ "3G is for voice & data" has already shown you're not quite getting the fact straight: Ever used data w/ previous generations in all forms, e.g. CDPD, CSD, HSCSD, EDGE? 3G is just making the spectral utilization MORE efficient over 2G for the sake of exciting future: enhance the mobile broadband data applications, IP voice migration, etc However, the available bandwidth in 3G air interfaces currently deployed ISN'T the SOLE deal-breaker for "better voice" over 2G counterparts because one factor, the CODEC used in 2G nowadays has already been promptly optimized. To end-users of a given provider, what matters is how their phones to handle the calls.

    How good/bad diff phones w/ diff air interfaces/tech - even from the same manufacturer - could reproduce the audio & performance in RF, it's again a complex combination of things: from components like diff batches of earpiece used to how the firmware calibrates the hardware. Sure, pricier components may boost the performance parameters or having relative better spec. However, without the blessings of critical tweaking/calibration, all the good potentials may not be realized. Also, manufacturers allocate resources in diff areas too: marketing, in-house R&D costs for the feature sets, etc. So a minimalistic, cookie-cutter GSM dumb phone w/o bells & whistles may cost less but the resources allocating to the fundamentals could be utilized fully, still w/ pretty decent profit margin vs the competitive priced, feature-rich 3G smartphone w/ all the awes but may overlook the fundamentals & core quality. Therefore using the price tag or tech aren't necessarily good to gauge the audio & RF department.

    I don't expect you'll likely find a less expensive GSM phone to offer relative great audio experience than a more expensive 3G counterpart because you've already been biased from the beginning. It doesn't matter if I counter you w/ any example because you'll simply discount others as you'd accept your own understanding & experiences alike as the only "truth". We must deal one at a time w/o prejudice even if they aren't the same in air interface/tech, category or price range.

    As I've mentioned in post #6, Motorola's CrystalTalk is just one of many noise cancellation regimes out there, just like Nokia's Uplink Noise Cancellation implementation. However, if the tonal balance & audio reproduction at the source is "bad", compounded by other factors like poor signal, any noise cancellation regime WON'T magically turn these calls into good landline conversation.

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    I dunno, I'll say that my v3xx isn't that great with call quality. Most of it is that the earpiece isn't great, it's lower quality, nowhere near as nice as my TILT's earpiece.

    However I will disagree with the OP. My TILT, 8525, n79, e71, w760, e62, and 8125 all had excellent call quality.

    It's not just the earpiece that makes call quality great, it is the mic on the other side as well. Some are terrible and some are great. I know a few other people with TILT's and when I talk to them on my TILT (or any other good phone), how well the TILT's mic picks up their voice is just wonderful.

    Cheap phones don't mean they are great at phones either, that cheap moto candybar gophone isn't near as good as the Nokia 6030. And the 6030's successor the 2610 isn't as good as the 6030. In addition, the Nokia 6126 is garbage compared to the 6555 which turned out to be excellent.

    It just depends on the actual model, and it doesn't matter what end of the tier spectrum that model falls, it could be good or bad.

    I judge call quality on the performance of the earpiece, mic, processing, and how well the phone connects to the air interface.
    iPhone 4 on AT&T:


    http://www.xti9.com/v3xx[/FONT][/SIZE]

  13. #28
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    Wirelessgal, please read post # 420 onwards in the link below

    http://howardforums.com/showthread.p...&page=28&pp=15

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    That discussion is a lot of BS.

    It's a circular argument --- you can't blame the carriers for configuring their network for max efficiency instead of voice clarity because we, as consumers, wants to talk 600+ minutes a month in Canada and 800+ minutes a month in the US. Verizon with $99 a month all you can eat unlimited voice minutes and Tracfone's $45 a month all you can eat unlimited voice minutes (using Verizon's network) is pushing Verizon to implement the next generation of codec --- 4GV --- you are going to hear even crappier voice quality from now on.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1549380

    One of the lowest earpiece volume cell phone in the whole world is the originally priced $600 2G iphone. Cheap phone doesn't mean bad voice quality or low volume.

    A cell phone call from a CDMA carrier to a GSM carrier will ALWAYS sound bad because CDMA carrier uses one codec and GSM carrier uses a different codec. It has nothing to do with how carriers in North America configure their networks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samab
    That discussion is a lot of BS.

    It's a circular argument --- you can't blame the carriers for configuring their network for max efficiency instead of voice clarity because we, as consumers, wants to talk 600+ minutes a month in Canada and 800+ minutes a month in the US. Verizon with $99 a month all you can eat unlimited voice minutes and Tracfone's $45 a month all you can eat unlimited voice minutes (using Verizon's network) is pushing Verizon to implement the next generation of codec --- 4GV --- you are going to hear even crappier voice quality from now on.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1549380

    One of the lowest earpiece volume cell phone in the whole world is the originally priced $600 2G iphone. Cheap phone doesn't mean bad voice quality or low volume.

    A cell phone call from a CDMA carrier to a GSM carrier will ALWAYS sound bad because CDMA carrier uses one codec and GSM carrier uses a different codec. It has nothing to do with how carriers in North America configure their networks.
    Was comparing GSM/3G to GSM/3G and GSM/3G to landline on Rogers vs
    Europe. (was not using CDMA in any tests)

    Out of interest, when they compare voice minutes North America Vs rest of the world, in the other countries are they only counting outgoing minutes ?

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