Technical Committee (TC) Speech and Multimedia Transmission Quality (STQ) Activity Report 2022

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. The main objectives of TC STQ standardization activities cover:

  • Terminals and networks for speech and media quality,
  • Quality of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and VR/VR based services,
  • End-to-end single media and multimedia transmission performance,
  • Voice Control and Internet of Things (IoT) – performance parameters and test methods,
  • Quality of Service (QoS) parameters and related measurement methodology for fixed and mobile networks and services, as well as respective Quality of Experience (QoE) descriptors and methods.

With our Working Group STQ Mobile the committee liaises with 3GPP, ITU-T and other organizations to support development of specifications for test methods, equipment and performance requirements for use in existing and future network telecommunications services, both fixed and mobile.

During 2022 TC STQ continued its programme of regular additions and revisions to its suite of deliverables.

Published in April, TS 100 488 ‘Characteristics of telephone sets that provide additional receiving amplification for the benefit of the hearing impaired’ marks the substantial revision of an older document (ETS 300 488) to provide requirements aligned with the current technology. The Technical Specification applies to handsets, headphones and handsfree terminals. Requirements defined for wideband terminals apply for superwideband and fullband terminals, but only in the frequency range of wideband, as the most of hearing impaired people, including older users, have more or less severe losses in high frequencies.

In May revisions were published to three existing ETSI Standards:

- ES 202 740: Transmission requirements for wideband VoIP loudspeaking and handsfree terminals from a QoS perspective as perceived by the user;

- ES 202 738: Transmission requirements for narrowband VoIP loudspeaking and handsfree terminals from a QoS perspective as perceived by the user;

- ES 202 396-1: Speech quality performance in the presence of background noise; Part 1: Background noise simulation technique and background noise database.

Updates were also made to two existing Technical Specifications:

- TS 103 640: Test Methods and Performance Requirements for Active Noise Cancellation Headsets and other Earphones;

- TS 103 224: A sound field reproduction method for terminal testing including a background noise database;

Work meanwhile continued on the development of several documents adopted before 2022, with their publication anticipated in 2023:

- TS 103 607: Transmission requirements for wearable wireless wideband terminals from a QoS perspective as perceived by the user. This work will develop methodologies, test arrangements, and requirements for the evaluation of speech communication performance of wideband capable wearable devices from the user perspective.

- TS 103 802: Objective test method for the evaluation of echo impairments. This work will provide a test method for the prediction of perception of impairments caused by echo control systems. The prediction is based on the related specification for subjective test procedures (already published as ETSI TS 103 801).

- TS 103 814: Speech quality performance in the presence of background noise; Objective test method for terminals in wideband mode. This work will expand upon previous models for the objective prediction of speech quality in the presence of background noise (as specified in ETSI TS 103 106) through the inclusion of new training databases considering modern noise suppression and speech enhancement techniques, device form factors, and usage scenarios.

- TS 103 837: Impact of languages on listening effort and relationships between listening quality and listening effort. This work will analyse the impact on subjective tests results for different languages and will provide the potential consequences for future studies. All subjective tests will be conducted with subjects with typical hearing.

STQ Mobile

In March 2022 STQ Mobile published a new report TR 103 733 titled ‘Best practices of testing the performance of web content delivery’. This provides recommendations on how to best measure network performance vs. the user experience of downloading modern web content.

During the year STQ Mobile also adopted a number of new Work Items, notably:

- TS 103 889: Guidelines for measurement campaign planning. This will provide information about best-practice measurement and campaign planning for measurements in mobile networks. Among other topics, this report will provide considerations of desired geographical resolution, population and day time, influence of heterogenous network setups, RAN sharing, national roaming and other network sharing scenarios. Recommended number of tests and relation to expected statistical confidence of results will also be available.

- TS 103 890: Guidelines for encrypted mobile OTT voice/video and video streaming applications testing. This will provide information on designing generic OTT clients based on most commonly used codec/client technology (standardised, open source) to enable an on-device, fully controllable testing of a single OTT version using a fully accessible KPIs set. A framework will be provided for validating the generic solution against real live applications.

- TS 103 891: Parametric non-intrusive QoS evaluation of Cloud Gaming Services over RTP/UDP streaming. This will leverage and extend currently existing models to provide QoS parameters for users who experience Cloud Gaming Services over RTP/UDP streaming.

- TS 103 892: Methods for evaluation of transport capacity achievable by devices in mobile networks. This will provide information about testing and quantifying data transport capacity achievable by devices in mobile networks. The report will consider current data applications and technologies which are more appropriate than existing publications to assess single-user achievable transport capacity.

See the full list of STQ and STQ Mobile Work Items in development here.

STQ Workshop

Postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TC STQ Workshop was hosted from 21-22 November 2022 in Bratislava (Slovakia) by Amazon. With a primary focus on Quality of Emerging Services for Speech and Audio, the workshop featured sessions on:

  • Evaluating performance of smart home, voice assistant & IoT devices
  • Signal processing differences between human speech communication and automatic speech recognition
  • Innovations in prediction of perceived quality of speech communications systems
  • Impact of super-wideband and fullband on the design and evaluation of new devices and services
  • Quality of Experience in the evolving mobile communications ecosystem
  • 5G Network Slicing, and its effect on network performance assessment and Quality of Service benchmarking
  • QoS aspects of services in 5th and 6th mobile generation including cloud gaming and AR/VR.

A total of 21 presentations were complemented by extensive interactive discussion among participants.

Access all STQ Workshop presentations here.

Read the press release summarizing highlights from the event here.