SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 5, 2009 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced cdma200 perceptual evaluation of speech quality (PESQ) measurement functionality for its 8960 wireless communications test set. This capability helps wireless engineers enhance the end-user experience by providing an objective measurement of audio quality in digitally vocoded voice.

Many new implementations of vocoder algorithms are designed to provide higher-quality voice at lower data rates. However, the sensitivity and transmitter quality of a mobile handset affects vocoder performance, and this determines the voice quality heard by the user.

Agilent's implementation of the PESQ measurement predicts vocoder speech quality using the algorithm recommended by the ITU-T P.862 standard. To enable an objective comparison of results, downlink and uplink voice quality are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. This implementation is entirely self-contained within the 8960.

"Unlike other solutions, the 8960-based measurements of downlink, uplink or simultaneous downlink/uplink PESQ are made without an external audio analyzer," said Niels Faché, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Mobile Broadband Operation. "This fast, one-box approach simplifies test procedures and reduces the total number of test stations when characterizing voice quality in handsets."

Using any of the three real-time vocoders built into Agilent's 8960, the PESQ measurement applies a male or female sample voice to a phone and compares the resulting voice signal to the reference. Audio input and output to and from the phone is routed through ports on the front panel of the 8960.

Agilent's 8960 is the only cellular network emulator that has the power and performance needed for testing at all phases of a mobile device's lifecycle: design, integration, validation, conformance test, manufacturing and repair. Its capabilities improve test efficiency, enhance asset management and simplify support of test equipment.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent cdma2000 PESQ capability is available now as part of the Agilent E19262B cdma2000 test application or the E6702C cdma2000 lab application along with the E1999A-301 feature license. The E1999A-301 feature license is priced at $4,000.

More information about the 8960, E1962B, E6702C and PESQ capability is available online