HD voice as simply means, High Definition voice. High Definition voice is an emerging topic which the media highly advertise these days. Once I heard about HD voice I was really thankful to Etisalat, for taking the voice quality to the next generation level although it seems little bit late. As they say, credit goes to Etisalat as the pioneer in HD voice. However I felt like this seems to be a late blow in the technology since all supporting technologies for HD voice was already matured and similar concepts are already implemented like noise and echo cancellation. So I Googled about HD voice.
What is HD voice?
HD voice is essentially a wide band technology. It extends the audio bandwidth used in standard telephony from 300 Hz – 3.4 kHz to a range of 50 Hz to 7 kHz, or higher. That’s much more in line with the human voice, which transmits audio between 75 Hz and 14 kHz.
Also HD Voice takes in more audio samples per second than a standard call. Instead of 8,000 audio samples per second, HD Voice calls doubles that to 16,000. That way, you’re able to hear more details in a person’s voice during a call.
To whom HD voice is for?
Yes, it is true that HD voice gives crystal clear voice to the user but not to everyone. HD voice requires a greater DSP processing capability in the handset. So only smart phones benefit this free of charge service. Now, all we need are carriers to actually enable HD Voice. They will do so by using a higher-quality speech codec called AMR-WB (Adaptive Multi-Rate Wide-band). That codec doubles the frequency of the call, which means you’ll hear less muffled voices and be able to better distinguish between “s” and “f” sounds. So HD voice feature works only between AMR-WB compatible phones.
Why the pioneer in the technology is late?
After my research on HD voice technology and history it was evident that Etisalat wasn’t actually the first to launch the HD voice feature. Since 3G was launched a very long time ago and DSP is also a fast growing field from long time back, HD voice is not really a new thing. There are many noise cancellation applications which is capable in removing noise and echo smoothly and generating the original signal exactly. So, why etisalat is too late?
The major reason why service providers didn’t care much about this HD voice feature in a great deal is because a very little community will benefit this service as there was very little amount of smart phone users.
Actually etisalat was not the first to introduce the HD voice feature to Sri Lankan community. 2 years back in 2012 Dialog had launched the HD voice feature. Dialog’s offering, at the time, went largely unnoticed, partly for the simple reason that there weren’t as many smartphones back then supporting HD voice in Sri Lanka. There was also the fact that nobody really cared. In fact, the Global Mobile Supplier’s Association contains records listing Dialog’s implementation in 2012. So Etisalat isn’t the first time launcher of HD voice in Sri Lanka. According to GSA Dialog has launched the service 14-02-2012 and Etisalat’s launch date is 22-05-2014 more than two years later.
You can download the full document on http://www.gsacom.com/gsm_3g/info_papers.php4 from GSA official website.
It’s just the marketing strategy of Etisalat which releases a great deal of advertisements and press releases.