Home5G & BeyondTelenor becomes latest mobile operator to offer HD Voice

    Telenor becomes latest mobile operator to offer HD Voice


       Telenor has become the first operator in Norway to offer HD Voice services across its network.

    The service is automatically available for all Telenor customers and is offered for free, but subscribers must have a HD Voice ready smartphone and be using Telenor’s 3G network in order to benefit.

    The operator says that in the course of 2013, the HD voice capability will also be added to Telenor’s 2G network, and eventually it plans to provide support for HD voice calls between its 2G and 3G networks at some point in the future.

    “During the last few years, there has been a rapid development of mobile technology: we’ve got a faster network, smarter phones, and new services. Soon there won’t be anything that you can’t do with your mobile phone. But one area has been lagging behind. Sound quality during calls has not seen any significant improvements since the introduction of GSM in the early 90s,” said Telenor CEO Berit Svendsen.

    HD Voice is a VoIP technology based on an ITU standard called “Wideband Audio” that was first coined in 1987.

    Orange launched the world’s first HD voice service for mobile phones in Moldova back in 2009.

    Since then, a number of carriers around the world have introduced HD Voice services to their networks, using the G.722 wideband standard, also known as Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB).

    Currently, most mobile networks and handsets are limited to the 300Hz – 3,000Hz range, while the human voice covers a range from 80Hz – 14,000Hz. AMR-WB enables the network to cover a range from 14Hz to 20,000Hz.

    But not all phones have HD Voice capability currently.

    Orange is touting feature phones for HD voice such as the HTC Desire HD, Nokia 5230, Sony Ericsson Elm and Samsung Omnia 7.

    When it comes to smartphones, HD voice works on Apple’s iPhone 5, BlackBerry Z10, LG Optimus G, Samsung GALAXY Note II LTE, Samsung GALAXY S III LTE and Sony Xperia Z.

    “The nuances in tone will be clear and the sound more lifelike. Those working in or located in areas with a lot of background noise, such as cafés or close to traffic, will benefit greatly from HD Voice,” said Svendsen.

    “Better sound quality will also generally ensure fewer misunderstandings and will allow you to talk more quietly on the phone. This is very convenient when you are in a public space.”

    In Europe, carriers currently offering HD Voice services include Russia’s Megafon; Orange in the UK, France, Belgium, Romania, Armenia, Spain and the Dominican Republic; T-Mobile in Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic; Germany’s Deutsche Telekom; KPN in the Netherlands; Play Mobile in Poland; Three in the UK and Austria; Vodafone in Ireland; Bulgaria’s Mobiltel and Switzerland’s Swisscom.