Image Number 15 for United States Patent #6496798.
A system controller (106) includes a speech encoder (107) that encodes a low bit rate digital voice message. The speech encoder sets values of words of a header of the encoded message. The values of the words define a quantity of frames in the voice message, N, and define a vocoder rate used for the encoded message. The speech encoder sets a state of each indicator in each frame status field of N frame status fields that are transmitted after the header of the encoded message. The speech encoder assembles N frame data fields, wherein each of the frame data fields comprises a set of data words. The N frame data fields follow the N frame status fields. Each set of data words conforms to at least one of the vocoder rate and the states of the indicators. A decoder (3310) decodes the encoded low bit rate digital message.