Orange To Launch Eight HD Voice Handsets In Europe

Mobile operator Orange has announced that it will be adding as many as eight high definition (HD) voice-enabled mobile handsets during the first half of this year, it has been reported.

The move is a part of the company’s recent drive to launch mobile HD services across Europe, with France, Luxembourg, and Spain being recently added to the list of countries and in UK the rollout of the services are expected to begin in the upcoming spring.

Orange recently got the distinction of being the first mobile operator to commercially rollout the mobile voice HD service when it started the service in Moldova in September last year. Additionally, it was also the first to offer HD over VoIP in France, while Poland and Spain will receive such a service shortly.

In an interview with Total Telecom ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Yves Maitre, Orange’s senior VP of mobile multimedia and devices, revealed that the company is planning to get the 100 percent of their devices in HD by the end of the next year.

Speaking about the potential of voice HD, he said: “It's a fantastic opportunity for handset makers to differentiate from devices like the iPhone for example. HD [voice] will become the norm, but we are the first ones to innovate on it and we believe our competitors will follow us”.

Our Comments

The ability to make or receive HD calls apparently resides with the operator and may only be noticeable if both the caller and the receiving party have HD-enabled services (i.e. on Orange). Arguably, it might only work in 3G regions (because of the bandwidth) although we will need to check that with Orange.

Related Links

Orange plans to offer eight mobile HD voice phones in 1H

(Total Telecom)

Orange to trial HD voice in the UK

(ZDNet)

MWC: Orange accelerates the roll-out of mobile HD voice in Europe

(Mobil Today)

France Telecom's Orange Expands Mobile HD Voice Svc Rollout

(The Wall Street Journal)