No more shouting down the phone?
Orange has unveiled a high-definition (HD) voice service, which it claims can filter out background noise and provide much greater call clarity than other services.
The technology runs over 3G networks and uses the WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) speech codec, which operates across a wider speech bandwidth of 50-7000 Hz compared to the much narrower 300-3400 Hz range that most phones operate on at the moment.
Orange says that this basically doubles the amount of speech data that is recorded and transmitted, reducing background noise and providing crystal clear calls.
The firm says that this is particularly important for business – its own research has revealed that almost one in five businesses admitted that they had lost a deal because of a misunderstanding over the phone as they couldn’t hear what was being said, while 33% said they often struggle to conduct phone calls because of the noisy environment they work in.
"HD Voice is going to change the way businesses are able to communicate through our mobiles from conducting calls in places that were not previously possible to the ability to hear emotions in people’s voices," said Martin Stiven, VP of business at Everything Everywhere, the company which runs Orange UK.
"We’re about bringing people closer together and HD Voice does just that, making business colleagues feel as if they’re speaking face to face. People are going to love the clarity of calls and the lack of background noise," he added.
It is currently available on four handsets – the Nokia X6, E5 and 5230 and the Samsung Omni Pro – with more expected to be announced over the next few months, although Orange would not be drawn on other devices that its High Definition (HD) Voice service may be available on.
It is available at no extra cost to the end-user and no upgrades to contracts are required. "We see HD Voice as a new era for mobile communications and in order for all our customers to benefit from the crystal clear calls, HD Voice will be provided as standard at no extra cost to our customers as part of their mobile service," Rakesh Mehta, head of voice, business product marketing, Everything Everywhere, told CBR.