blog Straight from the Vodafone catch-up files comes the news that the telco has finally gotten a service to market which the nation’s biggest telco Telstra launched back in June 2011 — high definition voice calling. A media release issued by the telco overnight tells us:
HD Voice delivers crystal-clear voice quality and suppresses background noise on calls made between customers using Vodafone’s network.
… Chief Network Officer Benoit Hanssen said while the launch of its wideband 4G network last week will continue to thrill data lovers, this 3G wideband technology innovation was one his team has introduced for the voice fans. “This feature will thrill those who love a chat. The sound is so clear it feels like you are standing next to the person you are calling even if you are thousands of kilometres apart.”
Hanssen says while mobile handsets have advanced considerably since they were introduced in Australia in 1987, voice technology has remained largely unchanged. “In addition to voice clarity, suppression technology significantly reduces any background noise between compatible devices making conversations on-the-go more effective,” said Hanssen. “So if you’re at a sporting match, on a train or in a crowd – you don’t have to speak loudly to make yourself heard by the caller,”
“Landlines are on the way out; they’re expensive and don’t suit the 21st century lifestyle. Features like HD voice will just further enhance the dominance of smartphone by making phone conversations sound more natural, making it easier for two callers to communicate clearly with the other.”
… HD Voice is made possible using state of the art technology known as Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate coding (WB-AMR). The wider dynamic range means over twice the range of voice frequencies are transmitted allowing customers to hear the full range of a person’s voice and makes it much clearer to distinguish between similar sounds like ‘S’ and ‘F’.
WB-AMR uses the same network capacity to double the voice bandwidth (50 – 7000 Hz) compared to traditional mobile and fixed network calls which operate on a lower range of voice frequencies (300 – 3400 Hz). HD-voice calls will require the caller and receiver to be using compatible handsets on the Vodafone mobile network. Compatible devices include the iPhone5, Galaxy S2, 3 & 4, Sony Xperia Z & SP and Nokia Lumia.
Of course, Vodafone and Telstra aren’t the only major telcos in Australia — there’s also Optus. We can’t find a record of the SingTel subsidiary having launched HD voice in Australia, meaning it is possible that the big V has stolen a march on its upscale competitor on this one. Could it be that Vodafone is finally doing something better than Optus? Shock! Sounds like it’s time for Optus to pull its socks up. After all, call quality does count.