Technical Committee (TC) Speech and Multimedia Transmission Quality (STQ) Activity Report 2020

Chair: Scott Isabelle, Amazon

Responsible for standardization relating to terminals and networks for speech and media quality, end-to-end single media and multimedia transmission performance, Quality of Service (QoS) parameters for networks and services and Quality of Experience (QoE) descriptors and methods.

Our Speech and Multimedia Transmission Quality committee creates and maintains standards relating to speech and end-to-end media quality performance for terminals and networks.

With our Working Group STQ Mobile we liaise with 3GPP and other standards organizations to support development of equipment for use in existing and future network telecommunications services, both fixed and mobile.

In 2020 completed and published three new Technical Specifications:

[TS 103 504]: Methods and procedures for evaluating performance of voice-controlled devices and functions: far talk voice assistant devices. This work specifies a methodology for repeatable characterization of voice assistant devices and functions, including: input speech signals and geometric relations of talkers and devices; control of acoustic environment; control of background noise signals; response measures and their collection and statistical analyses.

[TS 103 640]: Test Methods and Performance Requirements for Active Noise Cancellation Headsets and other Earphones. This work specifies test methods, technical parameters and performance requirements for assessment of the Quality of Experience when using Active Noise Cancellation Headsets with speech and music content.

[TS 103 801]: Subjective test methodologies for the evaluation of echo control systems. This work provides test methodologies for the subjective assessment of disturbances caused by echo control systems in speech communication devices. The listening test design takes the self-hearing of the far-end talker into account, which influences the assessment of perceived degradation.

We also revised several standards for wideband and narrowband speech transmission requirements from a user’s QoS perspective, variously covering handsfree, handset and headset VoIP terminals.

We updated our standard [ES 202 718] for transmission requirements for IP-based home and other network media gateways.

We revised our specification for simulating reverberation conditions for communication device measurements [TS 103 557]. We also revised our specification of a sound field reproduction technique for terminal testing to allow the physical reproduction of real, pre-recorded sound fields in a laboratory type environment [TS 103 224].

Our STQ Mobile Working Group published a new Technical Report [TR 103 702] detailing QoS parameters and test scenarios for assessing network capabilities in 5G performance measurements.

MOLE Project STF

Established as an ETSI Special Task Force, the MOLE Project (‘Methods for Objective assessment of Listening Effort based on subjective test data bases’) offers guidance and methodology regarding intelligibility for hearing impaired users.

In 2020 Step 2 of the project resulted in revision of our Technical Specification on methods for objective assessment of listening effort [TS 103 558]. The update extends the scope of the original specification to include active noise cancelling headsets and mobile handsfree handsets.

During the year TC STQ maintained its regular exchange of information with several bodies to align respective standardization work, notably 3GPP SA4 (Codec); ITU-T SG12 (Performance, QoS and QoE; and ITU-T SG16 (Multimedia).

See the complete list of TC STQ publications in 2020 here.

LOOK OUT FOR IN 2021 – TC STQ WORK IN PROGRESS:

STQ

  • Revision to ETSI Standard ES 202 396-1 on speech quality performance in the presence of background noise; Part 1: background noise simulation technique and background noise database
  • Technical Specification (TS) on Speech and multimedia Transmission Quality (STQ); objective test method for evaluation of echo impairments
  • TS on transmission requirements for wearable wireless wideband terminals from QoS perspective as perceived by the user
  • TS on speech quality performance in the presence of background noise; objective test method for terminals in wideband mode
  • Revisions to TS on transmission requirements for:
    • TS 103 737 Narrowband mobile wireless terminals (handset and headset) from a QoS perspective as perceived by the user
    • TS 103 738 Narrowband mobile wireless terminals (handsfree) from a QoS perspective as perceived by the user
    • TS 103 739 Wideband mobile wireless terminals (handset and headset) from a QoS perspective as perceived by the user
    • TS 103 740 Wideband mobile wireless terminals (handsfree) from a QoS perspective as perceived by the user
  • Revision to TS 103 624 for LC3plus speech codec – includes detailed characterization methods and characterization testing results
  • Revision to TS 103 504 on methods and procedures for evaluating performance of voice assistant devices and functions
  • Revision to TS 103 558 on methods for objective assessment of listening effort
  • Revision to TS 103 640 on test methods and performance requirements for active noise cancellation headsets and other earphones
  • Revision to TS 100 488 on characteristics of telephone sets providing additional receiving amplification for the benefit of the hearing impaired
  • Revision to TS 103 106 on testing methodology for speech quality performance of modern mobile terminals in the presence of background noise

STQ MOBILE

  • Technical Report (TR) on guidelines for assessing statistical properties of benchmarking and scoring results
  • TR on recommendations on QoS for emerging 5G use cases, in relation to network capabilities
  • TR on best practices for performance testing of web content delivery - recommendations on best measurement of network performance vs. user experience of downloading modern web content