Feeds

Orange punts quality calling

HD moniker applied to voice, again

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Orange UK is upping the quality of voice calls over the next year, branding the development "HD Voice" in the ongoing search for market differentiation.

The improvements come with use of Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate (WB-AMR) as a voice codec, which has been around for a while but never deployed. The common wisdom has been that customers won't pay for additional quality and they will need new handsets, a clutch of which Orange plans to launch over the next 12 months.

While data rates have soared over recent years the quality of a voice call hasn't improved since the first GSM call back in 1991. There was an opportunity to improve the quality when Adaptive Multi-Rate was introduced ten years ago, but operators took the practical option of carrying more calls rather than increasing the quality.

Existing call quality is good enough for most European languages. Speakers of more-tonal languages often want more quality but most of us can convey meaning over a mobile phone so why bother enhancing the quality?

It seems that conveying meaning isn't as important as it used to be - most mobile calls these days are emotional affairs where the exchange of information is secondary to the act of being in touch, which makes detection of tonal variations more important.

At least that's what Orange hopes. A more cynical view would suggest that it's a desperate attempt by the company to differentiate "signature" handsets, having failed to get customers using MegaSIMs or custom widgets, and that "HD Voice" is just an impressive-looking tag to put on branded phones. ®

Implementing WB-AMR on the network will cost money - every base station will need to support it - but that's probably a software upgrade, so not hugely expensive. If Orange gets any traction then it won't be long before all the operators follow suit. And it's about the quality of voice calling on mobile phones improved - it's what they're for after all.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.