Orange Tests HD Calling Across UK

Mobile phone network Orange has stated trials for a new service called Orange HD Voice which the company says will be launched in the next few months and will bring high definition voice services to its customers across the nation, in line with Orange's previous announcement last year.

In a statement, Orange says that the service will introduce a new "a new era for mobile communications and a new standard for the telecoms industry", making the callers sound as if they're only a few metres away, rather than hundreds of miles.

Trials have already begun in Bristol, Reading and Southampton across a tiny fraction of the 16.5 million or so Orange mobile customers. HD Voice was first launched in Moldova by Orange and is based on the WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) speech codec.

The main advantage of WB-AMR is that it doesn't necessitate significant upgrades to existing networks. It expands the current mobile phone bandwidth from 300-3400Hz to 50-7000Hz. Orange has not said whether the improved sound quality would work between Orange customers only.

Not all the phones will be compatible with the service although one Orange's spokesperson said that HD voice will be available on more handsets throughout the second half of the year. Check Orange's video describing the service below.