SOURCE: Metrico Wireless Inc.

October 22, 2007 08:45 ET

Metrico Wireless' New Muse 2.0 Product Is the First to Deliver Affordable Voice Quality Testing for All Wireless Devices

Newly Portable Muse Does Something No Other Testing Solution Does: It Interfaces With Any Wireless Device to Make It Easy to Comprehensively Test Audio Quality

FREDERICK, MD--(Marketwire - October 22, 2007) - Metrico Wireless Inc., a provider of performance measurement solutions for the wireless industry, today unveiled its new and improved Muse 2.0 testing system. The Muse system is now portable, which allows wireless players to affordably and comprehensively test the voice quality of any wireless device in the field. Wireless players can also continue to use the comprehensive Muse testing capabilities in the lab.

Muse helps wireless players successfully conquer a key challenge facing them today: the need to maintain consistent voice quality even as performance demands on wireless devices multiply. The bottom line is that most customers still rate their phone service based on the quality of their voice communications. At the same time, new wireless services such as email, multimedia messaging and Internet browsing are placing new demands on mobile devices, chipsets and on radio spectrum, meaning that speech quality is often compromised.

Muse provides the solution to that challenge by allowing any wireless player that wishes to maximize the quality of voice communications experienced by the customer -- including handset manufacturers, wireless carriers and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), chipset vendors and even network infrastructure providers -- to comprehensively test voice quality in the field or in the laboratory.

Using Muse, wireless players can ensure that speech quality is high before a wireless device ever reaches the end customer.

While most measurement equipment used by wireless engineers only interfaces to one or two handset models, Muse allows engineers to plug any handset into its hardware box -- which is about the size of a paperback novel -- to test the overall speech quality delivered. The other end of the box then plugs into a laptop computer, which analyzes the device's audio quality and assembles it into an easy-to-read report.

Metrico's Muse technology has undiscovered quality problems in more than 50 percent of wireless devices tested. Thanks to this early detection, those problems can be fixed before those handsets reach wireless carriers or the end consumer.

"As many as half of customer complaints about wireless service are caused by handset-related problems. But, unfortunately, using standard test and measurement equipment today, wireless players can't test the network using the latest and most popular handsets," said Dimitrios Topaltzas, founder and president of Metrico Wireless. "Muse provides the missing link for wireless engineers by enabling them to comprehensively test the speech and audio quality of any wireless device real-time in the field or in the lab."

The ability to comprehensively test the audio quality of any wireless device is particularly important for wireless carriers. That's because today, when wireless field technicians go on a test drive, they often cannot uncover the real source of network problems because they are testing the network using a handset model that might be two or three years old.

In addition, engineering teams for wireless carriers or manufacturers charged with deploying a new network codec such as Enhanced Variable Rate Codec B (EVRC-B); rolling out a major technology upgrade; or implementing new applications such as VoIP or UMA can use Muse to make sure that the network's voice quality is acceptable.

The bottom line is that testing a network using traditional engineering metrics does not tell wireless players enough about the subscriber-perceived quality of the voice communications -- and whether that quality has been compromised by, for instance, a modification to the wireless network. For instance, it's very difficult to say that if a frame error rate or bit error rate measure reaches a certain level, voice quality has been compromised.

In contrast, Muse tests actual voice quality using a unique computer-based two-way audio capture system that provides an end-to-end evaluation of what the "caller" and the "listener" both hear -- and thus really answers the question "Can you hear me now?." If a device does not meet a certain threshold, engineers know that voice quality has been affected by a change to the network.

The Muse testing system supports the full spectrum of wireless technologies, including GSM, CDMA, UMTS, WiMAX and UMA, and can be used to analyze any type of telephony device. The robust, portable Muse system is affordable enough to allow wireless players to equip all of their wireless and/or audio engineers in the field with the tool.

In the laboratory, engineers can use Muse to test speech quality by linking it directly into base station simulators and head and torso simulators (HATS), with optional Bluetooth receiver support. Metrico conducts comprehensive tests of more than 100 different types of wireless devices each year in its newly expanded Frederick, Md. lab. The company's wireless manufacturer and carrier customers include key players such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Samsung, and Research in Motion.

About Metrico Wireless

A privately held company, Metrico Wireless Inc. provides user-experience performance measurement solutions to the wireless industry. The company's innovative processes and technologies enable it to effectively analyze voice quality, as well as call and data performance. Leading wireless carriers and handset makers -- such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Samsung and Research in Motion -- use Metrico's solutions to ensure that their handsets will meet and exceed consumers' expectations. For more information, please visit www.metricowireless.com.

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