What it is:

POLQA is the global standard for benchmarking voice quality of fixed, mobile and IP based networks. It was standardized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) as Recommendation P.863 in 2011 and can be applied for voice quality analysis of VoIP, HD Voice, 3G and 4G/VoLTE networks. An advanced POLQA version was adopted in September 2014.

The POLQA standard was developed during 2006-2011 by leading industry experts within ITU-T Study Group 12, from the requirement for a technology upgrade to PESQ (ITU-T Recommendation P.862), its predecessor of 2001, and a competition carried out to define the 3rd generation of perceptual voice quality metrics. POLQA - which stands for "Perceptual Objective Listening Quality Analysis" - offers an advanced level of benchmarking accuracy and adds significant new capabilities for wideband and super-wideband (HD) voice signals, along with support for most recent voice coding and VoIP/VoLTE transmission technologies. POLQA is ideally suited to evaluate, optimize and monitor the voice quality of next-generation networks.

The POLQA perceptual measurement algorithm is a joint development of OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO, protected by copyrights and patents and available under license from OPTICOM as software for various platforms. The POLQA Coalition has further advanced POLQA by developing a new version V2.4, “POLQA 2015”, which was adopted by ITU-T SG12 in September 2014.

To date, more than 80 vendors and operators license POLQA/P.863 for their products or for use during development, design and optimization of mobile phones, Smartphones, network components, or services.

Evolution of VQ Testing

Who needs POLQA:

Mobile and NGN operators, Test & Measurement and in particular DTT manufacturers for benchmarks of 3G, 4G/LTE and NGN networks PESQ/P.862.x was originally released in the year 2001. Since then, and as visible in a time line diagram above, certain key technologies like speech codecs and 3G/4G evolution have been introduced. While PESQ has proven to be very robust, POLQA significantly improved benchmark accuracy for 3G, and strong support for testing of today´s technologies such as Unified Communications, Next Gen Networks and 4G/LTE. Besides classical band-limited telephony POLQA supports HD Voice, i.e. 'wideband' and 'super-wideband' telephony up to 48 kHz sampling frequency.

More Information on POLQA Technology

Latest News:

“Best Mobile Network 2017”

German "Connect" magazine again awarded the best mobile networks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For the 5th year in series, OPTICOM GmbH's POLQA voice quality software is setting the standards, now also including VoLTE evaluations.

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POLQA approved for Voice Quality Characterization of EVS Codec

POLQA, the global standard for benchmarking mobile voice quality can now also be safely applied to characterize EVS coded speech signals. As a result, commercial products running POLQA version 2015 (v2.4) are already validated for EVS support and do need an extra update. OPTICOM and SwissQual’s initiative enabled ITU-T SG12 to add a new Implementer’s Guide (…)

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New Version > POLQA 2015 < available now

In an elaborative project, under the leadership of OPTICOM, the partners to the POLQA Coalition have advanced POLQA by developing a new version V2.4 –introduced as “POLQA 2015” – which was adopted by ITU SG12 in September 2014. POLQA V2.4 will supersede POLQA V1.1 as Edition 2. The updated POLQA OEM library from OPTICOM is available since September 2014.

For more information about the advancements, please download the whitepaper, highlighting the differences between V1 and V2.


AUDIO PRECISION adds POLQA Perceptual Audio Testing to APx Models

"When combined with the APx Bluetooth option and APx500's comprehensive suite of audio measurements, PESQ and POLQA make a powerful toolset for engineers working in mobile audio, tablets and Bluetooth accessories", says Tom Williams, VP of Sales and Marketing.


SPIRENT launches Performance Measurement System for HD Voice and Voice-over-LTE

Nomad HD provides a comprehensive package for HD Voice quality measurements and call performance testing to support the evolution of voice services. Using the POLQA algorithm for HD Voice and VoLTE voice quality measurement allows for actionable comparison between legacy circuit-switched and packet-switched voice from the same service provider, across networks and technologies.

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Ascom adds Mobile-to-Mobile POLQA capabilities to Android Smartphones

According to Ascom, TEMS Pocket 13.0 adds convenient and cost-efficient mobile-to-mobile POLQA capabilities to Sony Xperia LT25i devices, thus enabling super-wideband measurements.

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POLQA Coalition Showcasing at NEW ITU Forum

Invited by the ITU, OPTICOM’s CTO Chris Schmidmer and CSO Joachim Pomy represented the POLQA Coalition during a recent New Showcasing event at the Study Group meeting in March 2013. According to Mr. Hiroshi Ota of the ITU-T, this new forum is intended to highlight achievements of successful implementations of ITU Recommendations developed within SG12, such as POLQA.

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SwissQual's CEO: 'No effect to POLQA Coalition after Acquisition by Rohde & Schwarz'

'The acquisition is a positive statement of confidence in SwissQual’s efforts and leadership in many areas of testing, including contributions to the POLQA standards and the POLQA coalition. There is no intention of changing any of the approach, involvement, partnerships or efforts that have been so successful up to this point in bringing POLQA to fruition. (..) As in the past, POLQA/P.863 licensing will be handled by OPTICOM, and existing license agreements will continue unchanged.'

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POLQA/P.863 Licensing now available from OPTICOM

OPTICOM, acting as the sole one-stop licensing agent for the POLQA technology on behalf of the POLQA Coalition, is now offering commercial license agreements for POLQA/P.863. OPTICOM provides professional one-stop IPR licensing along with advanced POLQA OEM software tools for Windows, Linux and Android for a quick time-to-market integration.

How to buy:

  • POLQA for End-Users (Commercial Use)

    Leading Test & Measurement manufacturers have (or shortly will have) adopted POLQA/P.863 in their products covering a wide scope of applications from lab tools, over production testing, network design and optimization to benchmarking and monitoring.

    In order to find out which is the proper tool set for your application, you may look up our reference list of licensed POLQA vendors.

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  • POLQA for Academic/Educational Use

    Academic users who are looking for a download of reference source code on the ITU-T website should consider that Recommendation P.863 is defined by an algorithmic description and pseudo code for some essential parts of it.

    There is no directly compilable source code for POLQA available. In order to support evaluations based on a standard conforming POLQA implementation, OPTICOM – on behalf of the POLQA Coalition

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  • POLQA OEM Licensing

    For professional vendors looking to integrate POLQA into their product or system, easy accessibility to POLQA is assured. The parties to the POLQA Coalition have founded a joint P.863 patent pool with OPTICOM as sole licensing agent.

    This means OPTICOM will provide one-stop IPR licensing along with advanced POLQA OEM software tools for various platforms.

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Who we are:

The POLQA coalition consists of OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO, the group of companies who won the competitive standardization process run by the ITU-T, and KPN, who own essential patents on the TNO technology. The candidates submitted for testing by OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO were the only algorithms that clearly met the criteria in the ITU-T selection phase in June 2010. Thereafter, OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO have agreed to combine their expertise into a joint and uniform solution. This joint solution was standardized as ITU-T Rec. P.863 (2011). POLQA enabled products are available to end-users in hardware and software from various vendors – see our list of references. OPTICOM acts as the sole one-stop licensing agent for the POLQA technology on behalf of the POLQA Coalition, while SwissQual, TNO and KPN take a more passive role with regard to POLQA licensing.

More Information on OPTICOM, SwissQual and TNO