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Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband

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Title: Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband  
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Subject: Adaptive Multi-Rate audio codec, G.723, Libavcodec, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Compression formats
Collection: Audio Codecs, Itu-T Recommendations, Speech Codecs, Wideband Codecs
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Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband

Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB)
Filename extension .awb
Internet media type audio/amr-wb, audio/3gpp
Type of format Audio
Standard ITU-T G.722.2

Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) is a patented wideband speech audio coding standard developed based on Adaptive Multi-Rate encoding, using similar methodology as Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction (ACELP). AMR-WB provides improved speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz compared to narrowband speech coders which in general are optimized for POTS wireline quality of 300–3400 Hz. AMR-WB was developed by Nokia and VoiceAge and it was first specified by 3GPP.

AMR-WB is codified as G.722.2, an ITU-T standard speech codec, formally known as Wideband coding of speech at around 16 kbit/s using Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB). G.722.2 AMR-WB is the same codec as the 3GPP AMR-WB. The corresponding 3GPP specifications are TS 26.190 for the speech codec and TS 26.194 for the Voice Activity Detector.[1][2][3]

The AMR-WB format has the following parameters:[4]

  • Frequency bands processed: 50-6400 Hz (all modes) plus 6400-7000 Hz (23.85 kbit/s mode only)
  • Delay frame size: 20 ms
  • Look ahead: 5ms
  • AMR-WB codec employs a bandsplitting filter; the one-way delay of this filter is 0.9375 ms [5]
  • Complexity: 38 WMOPS, RAM 5.3KWords
  • Voice activity detection, Discontinuous Transmission, Comfort Noise Generator
  • Fixed point: Bit-exact C
  • Floating point: under work.

A common file extension for AMR-WB file format is .awb. There also exists another storage format for AMR-WB that is suitable for applications with more advanced demands on the storage format, like random access or synchronization with video. This format is the 3GPP-specified 3GP container format based on ISO base media file format.[6] 3GP also allows use of AMR-WB bit streams for stereo sound.


  • AMR modes 1
  • Configurations for 3GPP 2
  • Deployment 3
  • Licensing 4
  • Tools 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

AMR modes

AMR-WB operates, like AMR, with nine different bit rates. The lowest bit rate providing excellent speech quality in a clean environment is 12.65 kbit/s. Higher bit rates are useful in background noise conditions and for music. Also lower bit rates of 6.60 and 8.85 kbit/s provide reasonable quality especially if compared to narrow band codecs.

The frequencies from 6.4 kHz to 7 kHz are only transmitted in the highest bitrate mode (23.85 kbit/s), while in the rest of the modes the decoder generates sounds for this band by using the lower frequency data (75-6400 Hz), along with random noise in order to simulate this high frequency band.[7]

All modes are sampled at 16 kHz (using 14-bit resolution) and processed at 12.8 kHz.

The bit rates are the following:

  • Mandatory multi-rate configuration
    • 6.60 kbit/s (used for circuit switched GSM and UMTS connections; should only be used temporarily during bad radio connections and is not considered wideband speech)
    • 8.85 kbit/s (used for circuit switched GSM and UMTS connections; should only be used temporarily during bad radio connections and is not considered wideband speech; provides quality equal to G.722 at 48 kbit/s for clean speech)
    • 12.65 kbit/s (main anchor bitrate; used for circuit switched GSM and UMTS connections; offers superior audio quality to AMR at and above this bit rate; provides quality equal to or better than G722 at 56 kbit/s for clean speech)
  • Higher bitrates for speech in adverse background noise environments, combined speech and music, and multi-party conferencing.
    • 14.25 kbit/s
    • 15.85 kbit/s
    • 18.25 kbit/s
    • 19.85 kbit/s
    • 23.05 kbit/s (not targeted for full-rate GSM channels)
    • 23.85 kbit/s (provides quality equal to G.722 at 64 kbit/s for clean speech; not targeted for full-rate GSM channels)

Notes: "The codec mode can be changed every 20 ms in 3G WCDMA channels and every 40 ms in GSM/GERAN channels. (For Tandem Free Operation interoperability with GSM/GERAN, mode change rate is restricted in 3G to 40 ms in AMR-WB encoder.)" [8]

Configurations for 3GPP

When used in mobile phone networks, there are three different configurations (combinations of bitrates) that may be used for voice channels:

  • Configuration A (Config-WB-Code 0): 6.6, 8.85, and 12.65 kbit/s (Mandatory multi-rate configuration)
  • Configuration B (Config-WB-Code 2): 6.6, 8.85, 12.65, and 15.85 kbit/s
  • Configuration C (Config-WB-Code 4): 6.6, 8.85, 12.65, and 23.85 kbit/s

This limitation was designed to simplify the negotiation of bitrate between the handset and the base station, thus vastly simplifying the implementation and testing. All other bitrates can still be used for other purposes in mobile phone networks, including multimedia messaging, streaming audio, etc.


AMR-WB has been standardized by a mobile phone manufacturer consortium for future usage in networks such as UMTS. Its speech quality is high, but older networks will have to be upgraded to support a wide band codec.

In October 2006, first AMR-WB tests were conducted in a deployed network by T-Mobile in Germany, in cooperation with Ericsson.[9][10]

In 2007 end-to-end AMR-WB TrFO capable 3G & VoIP product line was commercially released by NSN (M13.6 MSS, U3C MGW). AMR-WB TFO support commercially released in 2008 (M14.2, U4.0). End-to-end TFO/TrFO negotiation and mid-call optimization (e.g. on handover, CF or CT events) released in 2009 (M14.3, U4.1).

In late 2009, Orange (UK) announced that it would be introducing AMR-WB on its network in 2010.[11][12] In France Orange and SFR are using this format on their 3G+ networks since the end of 2010 summer.

WIND Mobile in Canada launched HD Voice (AMR-WB) on its 3G+ network in February, 2011. WIND Mobile also announced that several handsets will support HD Voice (AMR-WB) in first half of 2011. WIND Mobile press release on HD voice First one being Alcatel Tribe.[13]

In January 2013, T-Mobile became the first GSM/UMTS based network in the US to enable AMR-WB.[14]

In Feb 2013, Chunghwa Telecom became the first GSM/UMTS based network in Taiwan to enable AMR-WB. [15]

In August 2013 the AMR-WB standard was introduced in Ukraine by Kyivstar. [16]

Nokia developed the VMR-WB format for CDMA2000 networks, which is fully interoperable with 3GPP AMR-WB.

AMR-WB is also widely adapted format in mobile handsets for tones.

The AMR wideband speech format shall be supported in 3G multimedia services when wideband speech working at 16 kHz sampling frequency is supported. This requirement is defined in 3GPP technical specifications for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and Transparent end-to-end Packet-switched Streaming Service (PSS).[17][18][19] In 3GPP specifications is AMR-WB format also used in 3GP container format.


G.722.2 is licensed by VoiceAge Corporation.[20][21][22][23]


In order to create samples, one can use Nokia's conversion tool to create both .amr and .awb files. Nokia Multimedia Converter 2.0 can be downloaded from here: It works in Windows 7 as well if the setup is run in XP compatibility mode.

For decoding, an open source library exists, OpenCORE. For encoding, an open source library exists as well, provided by VisualOn and included in Android.

Both can be incorporated in ffmpeg (meaning ffmpeg can be compiled with—enable-libopencore-amrwb—enable-libvo-amrwbenc ).

See also


  1. ^ ITU-T (2003) ITU-T Recommendation G.722.2 Page i. Retrieved on 2009-06-17.
  2. ^ 3GPP 3GPP TS 26.190; Transcoding functions; - 3GPP technical specification Retrieved on 2009-06-17.
  3. ^ 3GPP 3GPP TS 26.194; Voice Activity Detector (VAD); - 3GPP technical specification Retrieved on 2009-06-17.
  4. ^ Voice Age white paper Retrieved on 2012-02-22.
  5. ^ 3GPP 3GPP TS 26.976 - Performance characterization of the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec ; Chapter 25 Transmission Delay Retrieved on 2014-04-09.
  6. ^ RFC 4867 - RTP Payload Format and File Storage Format for the Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) and Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) Audio Codecs Page 35
  7. ^ Kuo, Sen M., Bob H. Lee, and Wenshun Tian. Real-Time Digital Signal Processing: Fundamentals, Implementations and Applications. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
  8. ^ 3GPP 3GPP TS 26.976 - Performance characterization of the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec ; Chapter 4.2 Retrieved on 2014-04-10.
  9. ^
  10. ^ T-Mobile press release (in German)
  11. ^
  12. ^ Orange to launch mobile HD Voice in 2010
  13. ^ WIND Mobile press release, Feb 3, 2011
  14. ^ T-Mobile Announces AMR-WB (HD Voice) Calls Active on its Network
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ ETSI (2009-04) ETSI TS 126 234 V8.2.0 (2009-04); 3GPP TS 26.234; Transparent end-to-end Packet-switched Streaming Service (PSS); Protocols and codecs Page 58. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
  18. ^ ETSI (2009-01) ETSI TS 126 140 V8.0.0 (2009-01); 3GPP TS 26.140; Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS); Media formats and codes Page 11. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
  19. ^ ETSI (2009-01) ETSI TS 126 141 V8.0.0 (2009-01); 3GPP TS 26.141; IP Multimedia System (IMS) Messaging and Presence; Media formats and codecs Page 10. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
  20. ^ "VoiceAge Corporation - Complete Profile". Industry Canada - 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  21. ^ "VoiceAge Announces the Creation of a Patent Pool for AMR-WB/G.722.2 Speech Compression Standards". 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  22. ^ VoiceAge Corporation (2009-07-21). "VoiceAge Announces the Creation of a Patent Pool for AMR-WB/G.722.2 Speech Compression Standards". VoiceAge Corporation. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  23. ^ VoiceAge Corporation. "Licensing for AMR-WB/G.722.2". VoiceAge Corporation. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 

External links

  • ITU-T Recommendation G.722.2; (AMR-WB)- technical specification
  • Adaptive Multi-Rate - Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec; Transcoding functions; 3GPP TS 26.190 - 3GPP technical specification
  • Adaptive Multi-Rate - Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec; Voice Activity Detector (VAD); 3GPP TS 26.194 - 3GPP technical specification
  • Adaptive Multi-Rate - Wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec; General description; 3GPP TS 26.171 - 3GPP technical specification
  • 3GPP codecs specifications; 3G and beyond / GSM, 26 series
  • RFC 4867 - RTP Payload Format and File Storage Format for the Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) and Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) Audio Codecs
  • RFC 4281 - The Codecs Parameter for "Bucket" Media Types
  • Deep Inside the Network, Episode 2: AMR-WB - Skype-like Audio Quality for Mobile Networks
  • Wideband Speech Coding Standards and Applications
  • 3GPP - Technical Specification Group Services and System Aspects
  • ITU-T Implementors' Guide for G.722.2
  • Report on Mobile HD Voice using AMR Wideband, as of 20th of Feb 2012
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