As mobile phones become ever more powerful, with music players, cameras, GPS capabilities, and internet connectivity all as standard, perhaps the one area that has not had any overhaul is the technology that started it all - the humble voice.
That's set to change, though, after Orange announced it would become the first network operator to offer HD Voice services on four handsets on its network.
Keen to be at cutting edge of new developments, V3.co.uk was given the chance to try out the service on the busy streets of Soho yesterday afternoon.
First, to gain some context, we placed a normal call between a Nokia X6 and an HTC Desire smartphone.
The result was a perfectly adequate call, albeit one that was full of muffled sentences, background noise and awkward requests to repeat sentences as certain words were lost in transmission.
Next, we tried a call between two Nokia X6 devices, both HD enabled, and immediately we were able to fully understand the benefit of the new service.
The call quality was almost perfect. Background noise was reduced to next-to-nothing while the voice itself was clear and concise, as if being in a room with someone.
The other person then held the phone out into the street to try and pick up as much street traffic as possible and yet barely anything came through at the other end.
"We have altered the software to only pick up the frequency in which speech is transmitted, so we can remove low noises, such as traffic from the mix," said head of mobile voice and messaging products for Orange, Andrew Warner.
With Orange expecting the service to become an industry standard offering on new devices in the coming years, it looks as if the traditional telephone call could undergo its biggest update in the 25 years since it first went mobile. Marconi would be proud.
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