Orange is expected to rollout high-definition (HD) voice services across the UK by the end of this summer following trials currently taking place in Bristol, Reading and Southampton. The move follows Orange’s ‘world-first’ launch of HD voice services in Moldova last year. Nokia is supplying handsets for the UK trials, although Sony Ericsson is also expected to support the later commercial service.
The concept of HD voice has been discussed for the last couple of years, but Orange now appears to be backing the technology commercially. HD voice services are claimed to be clearer, eliminating background noise and making the voice more distinct and much more natural. The system works by using a new codec – WideBand-Adaptive Multi Rate (WB-AMR) – that widens the bandwidth of the call from the current 300-3400 Hz to 50-7000 Hz. Orange is also expected to extend the service across Europe this year too.