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This paper describes the adaptive multirate wideband (AMR-WB) speech codec selected by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for GSM and the third generation mobile communication WCDMA system for providing wideband speech services. The AMR-WB speech codec algorithm was selected in December 2000 and the corresponding specifications were approved in March 2001. The AMR-WB codec was also selected by the International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Sector (ITU-T) in July 2001 in the standardization activity for wideband speech coding around 16 kb/s and was approved in January 2002 as Recommendation G.722.2. The adoption of AMR-WB by ITU-T is of significant importance since for the first time the same codec is adopted for wireless as well as wireline services. AMR-WB uses an extended audio bandwidth from 50 Hz to 7 kHz and gives superior speech quality and voice naturalness compared to existing second- and third-generation mobile communication systems. The wideband speech service provided by the AMR-WB codec will give mobile communication speech quality that also substantially exceeds (narrowband) wireline quality. The paper details AMR-WB standardization history, algorithmic description including novel techniques for efficient ACELP wideband speech coding and subjective quality performance of the codec.