HD Voice now available on 32 mobile networks, GSA says

3 Oct 2011

HD Voice technology has been launched by 32 mobile networks in 29 countries, and top manufacturers have launched 52 HD Voice-capable phones, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association has revealed.

The GSA says that almost half of EU member countries have commercially launched mobile HD Voice services, or are engaged in trials ahead of planned commercial introduction.

However, operator investments in mobile HD Voice extend far beyond Europe, with services now also commercially available in Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Russia, India and the Asia-Pacific region.

HD Voice services have been commercially launched on 32 mobile networks in 29 countries and territories – Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Moldova, Poland, Réunion, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, and the UK.

Some 52 HD Voice-capable phones have been launched into the market by leading manufacturers, including Alcatel, HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and ZTE. Many of the latest products are being delivered with the HD Voice feature (W-AMR) set on as default.

Mobile HD Voice uses Adaptive Multi Rate Wideband technology (W-AMR) standardised by 3GPP, and enables high-quality voice calls in mobile networks and an improved user experience.

What is HD Voice capable of?

It provides significantly higher voice quality for calls between mobile phones supporting the feature, and can be implemented in GSM and WCDMA (UMTS) networks. The industry recently introduced a new logo to identify mobile HD Voice-compatible devices and services.

HD Voice helps operators to clearly differentiate their offerings and enable high-quality services to voice dependent business, like call centre services, information services, emergency services, etc.

HD Voice is also ideal for conference calls and can contribute to a reduction in business travel and raise productivity while reducing the environmental impact. Calls which are easier to hear and understand reduce the fatigue typically associated with long conference calls.

“Operators are deploying mobile HD Voice services on GSM networks, as well as 3G/HSPA networks,” Alan Hadden, president of the GSA said.

“The availability of HD Voice-capable phones improved dramatically in recent weeks.

“The new HD Voice logo launched by the industry will help subscribers identify which phones support HD Voice, and where Mobile HD Voice network services are available.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years