Time to talk up HD voice

First published on Mobile World Live, 18 March 2013

There are signs that high-definition voice, at long last, is gaining momentum. According to some reports, over 60 networks are now supporting W-AMR (wideband-adaptive multi rate) technology for HD voice. More than 160 different handset models – from 16 suppliers – are HD-voice ready. The old chicken-and-egg stumbling block about which should come first – network or devices – looks to be coming down.

The arguments for HD voice seem compelling. By using wideband codecs, as well as noise cancellation techniques, operators can offer a differentiated service. It’s a no-brainer that mobile customers, given the chance, would prefer not to have their conversations drowned out by background noise. There are plenty of online demos, too, showing that the claim of HD voice enthusiasts – of being able speak to people ‘as if they were in the same room’ – is not unfounded. (more…)