The last few years have witnessed a tremendous growth of the demand for wireless services and a significant increase of the number of mobile subscribers. A recent data traffic forecast from Cisco reported that the global mobile data traffic reached 1.2 zettabytes per year in 2016, and the global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years. Based on these predictions, a 127-fold increase of the IP traffic is expected from 2005 to 2021. It is also anticipated that the mobile data traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes per year by 2021, and that the number of mobile-connected devices will reach 3.5 per capita.
With such demands for higher data rates and for better quality of service (QoS), fifth generation (5G) standardization initiatives, whose initial phase was specified in June 2018 under the umbrella of Long Term Evolution (LTE) Release 15, have been under vibrant investigation. In particular, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has identified three usage scenarios (service categories) for 5G wireless networks: (i) enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), (ii) ultra-reliable and low latency communications (uRLLC), and (iii) massive machine type communications (mMTC). The vast variety of applications for beyond 5G wireless networks has motivated the necessity of novel and more flexible physical layer (PHY) technologies, which are capable of providing higher spectral and energy efficiencies, as well as reduced transceiver implementations.
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Recently, the binaural auditory-model-based quality prediction (BAM-Q) was successfully applied to predict binaural audio quality degradations, while the generalized power-spectrum model for quality (GPSM q ) has been demonstrated to account for a large variety of monaural signal distortions. For many applications, a combined monaural and binaural model would be advantageous, however, the contribution of monaural and binaural quality aspects to overall (spatial) quality is not conclusively clarified. Thus, the current study systematically investigated overall audio quality in a listening experiment for monaural and binaural distortions on music, speech, and noise, applied either in isolation or in combination. The resulting database was used for assessing different methods for combining BAM-Q and GPSM q to joint overall audio predictions for monaural and binaural signal distortions. It was investigated, if monaural or binaural quality aspects contribute stronger to overall audio quality. The results indicate that overall audio quality depends on the lower quality aspect, either monaural or binaural.
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