Today, South Korean mobile phone maker SK Telecom has started the deployment of a new technology on its LTE network, meant to provide users with better calling quality.
Called HD Voice, this represents the next-generation high-quality voice call service over LTE, and SK Telecom is the first wireless carrier to have ever deployed it.
Users interested in taking advantage of the service will be able to do so on HD Voice-capable devices, such as the Galaxy S III
LTE smartphone that will arrive at the carrier today.
Before the end of the month, other Galaxy S III LTE
units will receive a software update that will enable the HD Voice feature for their owners.
“Going forward, high-quality voice call is expected to be realized among VoLTE customers of different carriers through service interworking among three Korean mobile carriers,” the wireless carrier announced.
Moreover, the operator confirmed that it is set to embed the HD Voice capability inside all the LTE smartphones that will be released in the future.
Through HD Voice, the wireless carrier promises HD (high definition) sound quality on its network. The feature is available through the use of high-quality audio codecs that can sustain 2.2 times wider frequency bandwidth than 3G voice calls.
At the same time, the call connection time has been reduced to less than 0.25 to 2.5 seconds, which is around 2 to 20 times shorter when compared 3G voice calls.
“HD Voice uses Adapted Multi-Rate Wide Band (AMR-WB) codec, which offers much upgraded 3G speech coding, and 23.85 Kbps transmission bandwidth, 2.2 times wider than that of 3G voice call, thereby transmitting the previously-inaudible low and high sound waves, and improving voice quality by 40% compared to that of 3G,” SK Telecom explains.
“HD Voice (AMR-WB) provides a much richer, clearer and more natural speech quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz compared to 3G voice call service that is optimized for only 300–2400 Hz voice band.”
The wireless carrier
also announced that the new service would be available for its users at the same rates (KRW 1.8 per second) as those included in the 3G pay-per-second billing scheme. Users will enjoy the service without going through a subscription process, the company notes.
At the moment, SK Telecom’s LTE network covers about 99 percent of South Korea’s population, and is available in underground and in-building areas too, as well as in mountainous region, and coastal/island/marine areas.