Nokia completes first phone call using 3D spatial audio technology

Nokia has achieved a significant milestone in the world of telecommunications by making the first audio and video call using 3D spatial audio. This breakthrough was made possible over a cellular network using the 3GPP Immersive Video and Audio Services (IVAS) codec, which allowed callers to experience sound spatially in real-time. The IVAS codec is just one aspect of the upcoming 5G Advanced upgrade to 5G networks, which promises faster speeds, improved energy efficiency, more accurate cellular-based positioning, and more.

Currently, all phone calls made over a cellular network are monophonic, with audio compressed into a single channel. However, spatial audio creates the illusion that sounds are coming from various directions as they are delivered through multiple channels. Some popular apps like Apple Music, Netflix, and Disney Plus already offer spatial audio for a lifelike listening experience on supported listening devices. With the IVAS codec, Nokia reveals that it could enable spatial audio in a vast majority of smartphones equipped with at least two microphones.

Nokia President Jenni Lukander stated that the standardization process for spatial audio is now underway, so network providers, chipset manufacturers, and handset manufacturers can begin incorporating it into their products. Nokia is collaborating with other companies to integrate the IVAS codec into 5G Advanced. While it may take some time before users witness more immersive audio and video calls on cellular networks due to this collaboration effort’s complexity

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