AT&T has confirmed at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit held in California its plans to push through with HD Voice on its 4G LTE network which is expected to be available by the end of this year. Kris Rinne, executive vice president of network technologies at AT&T Labs, said in the summit that “HD Voice is part of our Voice over LTE strategy.”
The company however didn’t provide any further details on this technology and the compatible handsets that can take advantage of this feature. Implementing HD voice on a network requires some considerable infrastructure changes.
Once this feature becomes available AT&T will finally catch up to some of its European counterparts who have already been using this technology for quite some time now.
What is HD Voice? Basically, it offers a higher quality audio during phone calls. Right now the audio frequency being used in voice calls is between 300 Hz and 3.4 kHz. A person’s voice ranges from around 50 Hz to 14 kHz. HD voice will be offering a voice frequency of around 50 Hz – 7 kHz which although falls short of the full spectrum of a person’s voice is already an improvement.
More audio samples will also be taken by HD Voice. Right now the standard is 8,000 samples. HD Voice aims to double this by taking 16,000 samples which should let you hear more details on a person’s voice.
Not everyone on the AT&T network will be able to take advantage of this new feature once it is made available. You will need an LTE subscription as well as a compatible handset to be able to enjoy higher quality calls. Most devices newer than the Samsung Galaxy S3 should be able to support HD Voice but you will still have to double check on this with the carrier. Some of the devices that support this technology are the iPhone 5, Samsung S III and IV, HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920 and Sony Xperia Z.
The announcement of AT&T comes in a little bit late as T-Mobile has already announced that they will be making HD voice available for its iPhone 5 customers by mid-April. Sprint has also made a limited rollout of HD Voice for its Samsung Galaxy S3 subscriber last year.