On September 1st Orange became the first UK mobile operator to launch High Definition (HD) voice on its network. This follows the launch by the operator in September 2009 of the world's first HD voice service in Moldova. Since that time Orange has been extensively testing the technology and is now apparently confident enough to bring it to market in the UK. Orange HD Voice is available free to all Orange mobile customers who take an HD voice-enabled handset. From launch, new variants of the Nokia 5230, Nokia X6, Nokia E5 and Samsung Omnia Pro will be HD voice-enabled with further vendors expected to offer HD handsets in the coming months. HD voice uses the AMR-WB (Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband) voice codec which offers a speech bandwidth of 50-7000Hz compared to the normal narrowband speech codec which provides just 300-3400Hz. The AMR-WB delivers significantly enhanced sound quality without requiring additional network resources. Orange claims that the technology works well for those wishing to make mobile calls from noisy environments such as trains or football matches.
Orange UK trials HD voice; initial feedback positive
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