HD Voice has been a feature of handsets for several years now, yet only one carrier in Australia has supported the feature – Telstra. Over the last week I’ve had some very interesting phone calls which to me sounded surprisingly good in quality – it seems Vodafone were trialling HD Voice and today they have confirmed that launch.
Originally when I noticed the quality I wondered if the people I was talking to were using iPhone 5 handsets as I am, given the iPhone 5 has some pretty decent noise cancelling built-in – as it turns out Vodafone were testing HD voice and have today announced the feature for customers with compatible phones.
To hear the benefits of HD-voice both callers in the conversation must have a compatible handset (including iPhone5, Galaxy S2, 3 & 4, Sony Xperia Z & SP and Nokia Lumia) and importantly both callers must be on the Vodafone network.
While Telstra also supports HD voice there is no advantage for callers from Vodafone to Telstra or Telstra to Vodafone – EFTM understands Telstra and Vodafone may be in discussions behind the scenes to work on a solution that will work between carriers – but don’t hold your breath.
There is no additional cost to making HD voice calls, it just happens – and you’ll know it when it does.
The full release from Vodafone follows below:
MEDIA RELEASEVodafone introduces cutting-edge HD voice technology
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
25 June 2013: Vodafone today announced the launch of High Definition (HD) Voice for customers that make callers having a phone conversation thousands of kilometres apart sound like they are in the same room.
HD Voice delivers crystal-clear voice quality and suppresses background noise on calls made between customers using Vodafone’s network.
Vodafone says this technology is the smartphone equivalent of switching from Standard Definition to High Definition television and customers will notice a marked improvement in how their calls sound – at no extra cost.
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.”
“This is another step in our aim to improve our network and offer the best value mobile services in the country. This new feature means our customers can stay close to their loved ones wherever they are.”
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.
Click This link to hear the difference: http://blog.vodafone.com.au/
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.