By Ibrahim Olukotun Lagos. February 6, 2013: A Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) report has listed Nigeria among countries using mobile HD voice technology to enhance provision of cutting edge telecoms to subscribers.
Mobile HD voice uses Adaptive Multi Rate Wideband (W-AMR) technology, enabling high-quality voice calls in supporting mobile networks and an improved user experience.
It also provides significantly higher voice quality for calls between mobile phones supporting the feature and is market reality on many GSM, WCDMA-HSPA and LTE networks.
Commenting on the growth of the technology and inherent benefits, Alan Hadden, President of GSA, says “the number of countries where HD voice is commercially available on mobile networks has grown 45% in under a year. Some operators reported 10 times the number of HD voice calls are currently being initiated compared to a year ago. Given that users need to be calling another HD voice device it shows how penetration is building towards a critical mass. To continue the market development, all smartphones need to ship with W-AMR activated by default”.
Other countries that had commercially launched HD voice services on their mobile networks include: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Rep., Denmark, Dominican Rep. others are; Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, Netherlands also Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, UK, and the USA.
While HD voice calling between users on different networks in-country is expected to become more common in 2013, the report also indicates that International HD voice calling has been introduced between users in some countries and will be another trend in coming months.
Most operators deliver HD voice service using their WCDMA-HSPA networks, with some using GSM systems. HD voice using W-AMR technology is also being commercially offered on some LTE networks (VoLTE).
Several operators in most regions of the world are also preparing to introduce VoLTE with HD voice service, according to the report.
In October 2012, GSA reported that 127 HD voice phones had been announced by 14 manufacturers, including the most popular brands and products. Stakeholders in telecoms sector have been expressing satisfaction about the proliferation of the technology in various countries.
Jan Derksen, Head of Technical Marketing at Business Unit Networks at Ericsson, says that, “It is exciting to see so many operators using HD voice to offer their subscribers high quality voice services, said. With the major components for HD voice in place, including devices and network support, we can expect many more networks to be launching HD voice services in the near future.”
There is a strong business case for Mobile HD Voice. Customers make more or longer calls with HD Voice, and highly value the service. HD Voice helps operators to clearly differentiate their offerings and enable high quality services to voice dependent business like call centre services, information services, emergency services, among others.
HD Voice is also ideal for conference calls and can contribute to a reduction in business travel and raise productivity while reducing the environmental impact. Calls which are easier to hear and understand reduce the fatigue typically associated with long conference calls, GSA says.