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AMR-NB G.729 CDMA iLBC DSP + Howler Tech. Nice.

Don’t bother reading on if the headline means nothing to you. It’s geekery time. It is most definitely time for the ‘science bit’.


Howler Tech is live.

Dan Lane and Ed Hodges — regular contributors here at Mobile Industry Review — have come out of the shadows.

If you’ve ever spoken to them or their colleague Jay Fenton (also a contributor now and again), you’ll have had to smile politely when they tell you they’re in ‘stealth’ mode.

They’ve spent many a networking evening dying to tell everyone about what they’ve been up to. But the actual stuff they’ve been working on is not that far off rocket science. Indeed, if you’ve ever watched any of the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles episodes, Dan, Ed and Jay should be looking over their shoulders for any 6ft blonde Terminator T-888s out to neutralise them. I’ve not seen Caraya, their product/service in the flesh. But I’ve seen the bits and pieces that make it up. And it does look a bit SkyNet to me.

The sort of thing that a lot of telecoms industry giants should have seen coming and snapped up last year.

I expect there’s still potential to buy the company for a decent sum now, but I reckon the valuation will sky rocket shortly. Enough to justify the simmering telecoms warchests, I’m sure.

Wossit do? Well I can tell you, because it’s sort-of public.

It converts voice.

Quite a simple ask, you might think. But no. The fact that I can’t walk down sodding Tottenham Court Road without losing a signal or talk to you on my Blackberry Bold, or hold a decent audio conference with chaps abroad — that shows that voice isn’t fixed yet. It’s not fixed because we’re now using a plethora — a veritable PLETHORA — of communications codecs to transmit voice.

Try this on for size: You’re in the States on a CDMA Sprint mobile handset right? Our colleague is on a landline in Canada. We all dial into a conference bridge. I call from my 3Skypephone using SkypeOut.

How many codecs d’ya reckon are in use?

Yeah. No wonder the quality’s shit. My voice has to be transcoded in real time (or, more likely after 2-3 seconds of annoying delay) from one format to another format and another.


Did… did… did you… can you … can you hear me? Hello?


Enter Caraya. Software based packet processing. Instead of vomiting out maybe a few hundred channels (MAXMIUM) like the usual kit out there, Caraya — combined with a few smart Terminator SkyNet style chips — knocks out thousands upon thousands of channels simultaneously.


So that cash you’re blowing on codec conversion systems? Give Howler a call. If you’d like an intro let me know or simply hit’em up at

If you’d like to read what analyst Michael Schwartz reckons about Howler, see this link.

PS: When Howler is sold for $100m, remember you heard that prediction here first.

And, er, I’ll carry your briefcase, Ed.

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