Geneva, 5 March 2015 – ITU has published a ‘whitelist’ of mobile phones that are compatible with Bluetooth®-enabled hands-free telephone systems in vehicles. The list will assist consumers and automakers in determining which mobile phones are optimized for high-quality voice conversations in the hands-free environment of vehicles.
The whitelist has been produced at the request of automakers to address the great variance observed in the behaviour of phones when operating within hands-free terminals (HFTs) installed in vehicles. This variance has resulted in automakers dedicating a significant amount of time and money to the testing of mobile phones, producing results that remain valid only until the new software for mobile phones or the next generation of mobile devices come to market.
The list aims to encourage mobile phone manufacturers to follow the requirements of relevant ITU-T standards and to participate in ITU testing events that analyse the behaviour of their products in conjunction with vehicle HFTs.
“The entrance of nomadic devices into vehicles must be managed in such a way that it does not compromise the comfort and safety of drivers,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “Central to this objective will be improving the compatibility of phones with hands-free terminals in vehicles, and ITU is working to achieve this by encouraging cooperation on this important topic between the automotive and ICT industries.”
Chaesub Lee, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, said: “The whitelist contains phones that fulfil the requirements of the ‘Chapter 12 tests’ of Recommendations ITU-T P.1100 and P.1110 standards for narrowband and wideband communications involving motor vehicles.”
The mobile phones currently listed were found to be in compliance with Recommendations ITU-T P.1100 and/or ITU-T P.1110 following anITU test event held in May 2014, which adapted and applied the requirements of the Chapter 12 tests to real-world scenarios. ITU Members have approved the adaptions made to the tests, clearing the way for the publication of the whitelist.
Of the phones tested during the 2014 test event, roughly 30 per cent passed the tests, with the remaining 70 per cent found to produce performance degradation that would be noticeable to drivers and conversational partners.
The worst performing phones showed some serious defects: some causing significantly distorted speech, others completely failing to acknowledge connection to a vehicle’s HFT. Quality degradation of this extent has led to customer complaints to automakers, and experts assert that such performance could give rise to safety risks by encouraging drivers to handle their phones while driving. For more information, read the ITU press release reporting the test event’s results.
The whitelist will be updated in line with the results of a series of conformance testing events based on ITU-T P.1100 and P.1110. The next such event is scheduled to be held in September at ITU Headquarters in Geneva.