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Provision of voice services over 3G W-CDMA radio access networks is generally designed as a function of the air interface requirements of Circuit-Switched (CS) connections. On the other hand, packetized VoIP speech services such as Skype, which is becoming increasingly popular among 3G users, impose a more demanding set of requirements on the radio interface, carrying a penalty in terms of coverage. This paper quantifies such penalty as a function of key parameters of the radio uplink. Results show that Skype coverage is always a fraction of conventional CS speech connections, and that such fraction is mainly a function of the vocoder type selected by Skype and the uplink Block Error Rate.
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