Low bit-rate speech encoding for digital mobile radio
The need for low bit-rate speech coding is the result of growing demand on the available radio bandwidth for mobile communications both for military purposes and for the public sector. To meet this growing demand it is required that the available bandwidth be utilized in the most economic way to accommodate more services. Two low bit-rate speech coders have been built and tested in this project. The two coders combine predictive coding with delta modulation, a property which enables them to achieve simultaneously the low bit-rate and good speech quality requirements. To enhance their efficiency, the predictor coefficients and the quantizer step size are updated periodically in each coder. This enables the coders to keep up with changes in the characteristics of the speech signal with time and with changes in the dynamic range of the speech waveform. However, the two coders differ in the method of updating their predictor coefficients. One updates the coefficients once every one hundred sampling periods and extracts the coefficients from input speech samples. This is known in this project as the Forward Adaptive Coder. Since the coefficients are extracted from input speech samples, these must be transmitted to the receiver to reconstruct the transmitted speech sample, thus adding to the transmission bit rate. The other updates its coefficients every sampling period, based on information of output data. This coder is known as the Backward Adaptive Coder. Results of subjective tests showed both coders to be reasonably robust to quantization noise. Both were graded quite good, with the Forward Adaptive performing slightly better, but with a slightly higher transmission bit rate for the same speech quality, than its Backward counterpart. The coders yielded acceptable speech quality of 9.6kbps for the Forward Adaptive and 8kbps for the Backward Adaptive.