HD Voice...

TV commercials are meant to be thought provoking and informational, well that is for some. Most of them were branded as a nuisance, especially during a cricket match you get to see same advert in between Overs throughout the day. Lucky you guys if you are subscribed on satellite TV broadcast – at least you can watch some hilarious ads.

Why I am starting off with Advert is recently Etislalat SL humming around the country about their new add on- HD voice. I am sure most of the subscribers are having no clue of what it suppose to mean (honestly, neither me known of this until I’ve Googled it ). With the help of some useful online posts, I thought to shed some knowledge about so called HD Voice on my post.

HD Voice- No, It’s not the first.

In early 2012, Dialog has introduced HD voice capabilities in SL for the first time, (I wonder why Dialog didn’t message this out when they’ve launched first).. Etisalat is 107th telco in the world to launch HD voice service commercially available while dialog already being the 42nd.  This is not entirely new to SL.

What HD voice means?

It’s the technology adopted to enhance the voice quality of audio call. It improves the quality of the call and also it reduces the background noise using noise cancelling technique. Usual Skype call is based on HD capabilities because data transmission is based on IP infrastructure- VoIP. However what telcos are trying to achieve here is bringing HD feature for mainstream voice call business. Great ha!

You have HD facility, does it mean you get these luxuries every time you make a call? Not necessarily..

To establish HD voice mode, there are few elements to be met technically, – this is largely on prevailing technology in the country and telcos can upgrade this.. well if they spend on it!

  1. Both handsets need to be HD voice compatible

We are talking about high bandwidth frequency range and both end of the phone must be optimized for HD voice capabilities. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a high-end smartphone; phone that are capable of handling AMR-WB (see below) would do the job, these days most of the smartphone out there are capable of handing HD voice. Earlier there were few version of mobile devices capable of HD voice and that runs on Symbian OS.

  1. Both devices need to be connected to a HD capable base station.

Base station that involves in establishing the call, the network must be supported for HD capabilities. ex: Base station with 3G/HSPA network of Dialog must connect with the same at Etisalat.

  1. Interoperability- since prevailing technology  can not cater for different network modes, two telcos connecting a call should be compatible with each others network modes- ex: both 3G/HSPA

Technology behind HD Voice

  • HD voice is basically doubled the audio bandwidth. HD voice makes use of Wideband audio technology transmitting at 50Hz to 7Khz. This is so significant when compared to Narrow band frequency range- 300Hz to 3.4KHz. To achieve this telcos use an audio codec – Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband AMR-WB
  • Handset capabilities- It’s done with device manufactures and to make it compatible their handsets with acoustic design for enhanced mic and speakers to cater AMR-WB.
  • Signal processing algorithms. Audio processing is integral part in the background when establishing a call. With HD capabilities, process involves sampling rate of 16KHz/second where as with traditional voice call, the sampling rate is at 8KHz

Is it VoLTE?

When I heard the HD voice for the first time my mind was stricken VoLTE. And apparently it’s not. LTE is purely based on IP platform, more specifically IMS(IP Multimedia Subsystem), ) instead of circuit switched path. VoLTE is based on Voice and Data in a single radio layer and at the moment LTE that offered by Dialog and Mobitel is only for Data. Besides not many VoLTE compatible handsets are available in the market. This is one of the telco trends in voice call service.


The end !!

As it much hyped on TV, HD voice is not a new canon in SL, neither it’s guarantee HD capabilities each time making the call. Well that is advertising is it?