Can you hear me now? 25th June 2013: Vodafone today announced the launch of High Definition (HD) Voice for customers that make callers having a phone conversation thousands of kilometres apart sound like they are in the same room. HD Voice delivers crystal-clear voice quality and suppresses background noise on calls made between customers using Vodafone’s network. Vodafone says this technology is the smartphone equivalent of switching from Standard Definition to High Definition television and customers will notice a marked improvement in how their calls sound –at no extra cost. Chief Network Officer Benoit Hanssen said while the launch of its wideband 4G network last week will continue to thrill data lovers, this 3G wideband technology innovation was one his team has introduced for the voice fans. “This feature will thrill those who love a chat. The sound is so clear it feels like you are standing next to the person you are calling even if you are thousands of kilometres apart.” Hanssen says while mobile handsets have advanced considerably since they were introduced in Australia in 1987, voice technology has remained largely unchanged. “In addition to voice clarity, suppression technology significantly reduces any background noise between compatible devices making conversations on-the-go more effective,” said Hanssen. “So if you’re at a sporting match, on a train or in a crowd –you don’t have to speak loudly to make yourself heard by the caller,” “Landlines are on the way out; they’re expensive and don’t suit the 21st century lifestyle. Features like HD voice will just further enhance the dominance of smartphone by making phone conversations sound more natural, making it easier for two callers to communicate clearly with the other.” “This is another step in our aim to improve our network and offer the best value mobile services in the country. This new feature means our customers can stay close to their loved ones wherever they are.” HD Voice is made possible using state of the art technology known as Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate coding (WBAMR). The wider dynamic range means over twice the range of voice frequencies are transmitted allowing customers to hear the full range of a person’s voice and makes it much clearer to distinguish between similar sounds like ‘S’ and ‘F’. WB-AMR uses the same network capacity to double the voice bandwidth (50 –7000 Hz) compared to traditional mobile and fixed network calls which operate on a lower range of voice frequencies (300 –3400 Hz). HD-voice calls will require the caller and receiver to be using compatible handsets on the Vodafone mobile network. Compatible devices include newer models of iPhone5, Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and Nokia Lumia 820. Check out our support page for a full list of compatible handsets. Want to hear the difference? You can!