Orange has announced plans to begin a three-month trial of its high definition (HD) mobile voice service in the UK starting in the spring.
The company said that it will extend the range of HD voice-compatible mobile handsets across Europe in the immediate future, and will announce pricing and handset models at the time of launch in each market.
Olaf Swantee, senior executive vice president for global mobile business at Orange, said that the operator is not treating voice as a commodity but as something that its mobile HD voice technology could enrich and transform for customers.
"HD voice is the future standard for mobile communication and, by being the first to innovate and deliver a new mobile voice experience, we provide a compelling and differentiated proposition which sets Orange apart," he said.
Orange also confirmed that the mobile HD service, which was launched for the first time in Moldova in September 2009, will also be rolled out in France, Spain and Luxembourg.
The service is the second strand in Orange's HD voice strategy, building on the delivery of its HD voice services for VoIP. The company first launched its HD over VoIP service in France, and has plans to roll out the technology in Poland and Spain.
Research by analyst firm Ovum has shown that voice services are expected to account for 69 per cent of revenues on a global basis in the near future, and no less than 60 per cent in any given region.
HD Voice works by using an Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband speech codec to provide higher audio quality due to a wider speech bandwidth, from 50Hz to 7,000Hz, compared to the current narrowband speech codec of 300Hz to 3,400Hz.
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