Test finds mobile phones have poor hands-free performance

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car hands-free The event found that an overwhelming majority of the phones tested would cause shortfalls in the audio quality of hands-free-supported conversations, a concern that automobile manufacturers say could be resolved through greater cooperation from phone manufacturers. In a plea to solve a persistent problem, major car manufacturers, including Mercedes and Toyota, with hands-free terminal (HFT) supplier Bosch, have issued a strong call to mobile phone manufacturers to perform standardized tests on the behavior of their products within hands-free systems and to participate in the ITU-T Study Group 12 standardization work that develops interoperability tests. The test event, held at ITU Headquarters, May 12 to 16, analyzed the behavior of a representative sample of mobile phones available today and capable of connecting to hands-free systems. Of the phones tested, roughly 30 percent passed the tests, with the remaining 70 percent found to produce performance degradation that would be noticeable to drivers and conversational partners. Serious faults were observed in the worst-performing phones; some causing as much as a three-fold decline in voice quality, others completely failing to acknowledge that they had been connected to a vehicle?s hands-free system. Quality degradation of this extent has led to customer complaints to the car manufacturers, and experts say could give rise to safety risks as it could encourage drivers to use their phone by hand while driving. The tests were performed by HEAD acoustics GmbH, applying the ?Chapter 12 tests? of Recommendations ITU-T P.1100 and P.1110, standards for narrow-band and wideband communications involving motor vehicles. ?The current situation is unacceptable to the automotive industry. The ITU-T P.11x-series is our opportunity to put hands-free systems on the right track. It?s essential that we increase the visibility of the Chapter 12 tests, that we revise them to meet industry needs and that they are applied across the mobile phone industry. If we do not make inroads into solving this problem using the P.11x-series, it is difficult to see how we will ever do it,? said Frank Kettler of Head acoustics. Christoph Montag of Bosch said: ?This problem is widespread and there has been little progress over the past decade. We have to act to initiate improvement. In the same way phones must adhere to standards to function within the network, phones should be made to adhere to standards to permit their use in hands-free systems.? Automakers assert that there is little complexity to their requirements, asking only that mobile phones disable certain signal-processing functionality as they enter a vehicle?s hands-free system. The great variance in the behavior of phones when operating within hands-free systems has resulted in auto makers dedicating a significant volume of time and money to the testing of mobile phones, producing test results that remain valid only until the new software for mobile phones or the next generation of mobile devices come to market. The tests? requirements were adapted and applied to real-world scenarios. The methodology and results of the tests event will feed into an ongoing process to refine the standards. ]]>

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