Orange launches UK HD voice trial

Mobile phone users lend an ear to improved sound quality.

Loud speaker

Select mobile phone customers of Orange UK have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, as they'll be testing high definition (HD) Voice before the service becomes available nationwide.

As part of the Orange voice trial, between Bristol, Reading and Southampton, call quality will be monitored and if feedback is positive, Orange will launch HD Voice to all its UK network customers before the end of the summer.

This is quite a big milestone for Orange, which has been working on the tech behind the scenes for some time, according to Tom Alexander, chief executive of Everything Everywhere, the company which runs Orange UK.

"HD voice represents a huge advance for the customer experience, a great leap forward for the mobile industry and we're delighted to be at the forefront in bringing this innovation to the UK public." he said in a statement.

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Andrew Warner, the company's head of mobile voice and messaging products, added that Orange is releasing the trial now in order to rigorously test UK service before commercial launch.

"Orange has taken the time needed to ensure that it was able to bring together the entire ecosystem needed to support HD voice in depth across its network." Warner added in a statement.

Orange Moldova was first to launch mobile HD voice in the world and Orange is the first operator within the UK to trial mobile HD voice, according to Warner.

HD voice is said to offer an improvement in sound quality with a wider speech bandwidth of 50-7000 Hz, compared to traditional mobile voice calls, with a narrowband speech codec of 300-3400 Hz, according to Orange.

Examples of HD sound quality compared to the current sound are demonstrated in the video below.

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