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AT&T to offer iPhone 5-compatible HD Voice later this year

post #1 of 22
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At the VentureBeat Mobile Summit in Sausalito, Calif., on Monday, AT&T Senior Vice President Kris Rinne announced that the second-largest U.S. carrier will roll out support for HD Voice over its 4G LTE network sometime this year.

iPhone 5
Source: Apple


Rinne, who is in charge of network technologies at AT&T, said wideband audio, better known as HD Voice, will see deployment as the telecom moves voice calling over to its LTE network, reports AllThingsD. Apple's iPhone 5 boasts hardware capable of delivering the high-quality audio, but in order to work, telecoms must also support the protocol.

?HD Voice is part of our voice over LTE strategy,? Rinne said.

AT&T has been derided for its sub-par performance regarding the audio quality of its phone calls, with one informal test finding Sprint to have the best sound compared to AT&T and Verizon. As the "Big Four" U.S. carriers slowly move to next-generation wireless technologies, the networks' selling points appear to be moving from less dropped calls and signal strength to fastest data speeds and best sounding voice calls.

T-Mobile announced less than one week ago that it will be the first U.S. carrier to support the high-fidelity communications technology when it finally launches the iPhone 5 on April 12. Sprint has also sounded off about its own HD Voice offering, but the service has yet to materialize.
post #2 of 22
This would be great...

IF THERE WAS ANY F---ING WAY TO MAKE A G.D. PHONE CALL ON THE AT&T NETWORK
Edited by MacManFelix - 4/2/13 at 8:28am
post #3 of 22
i think what we need is the end of talk minutes and the end of text messages. EVERYTHING should simply be through LTE.... LONG TERM EVOLUTION, BABY!!!! All the plans could be simplified so much...
post #4 of 22
Isn't that exactly what T-Mobile did? unlimited Talk, Text and 3G Data. You just pay for the 4G data rate (and even then, if you go over, no biggie)
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post #5 of 22
The headline is wrong. AT&T won't be offering HD voice iPhone 5, but rather iPhone 5S
post #6 of 22

Well, from the sounds of things it seems like HD voice is more an issue of moving voice from 3G+ or HSDPA to voice over IP, e.g, LTE.  The IPhone 5 should be able to do HD Voice already....I dont think the statement by ATT is incorrect...

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post

This would be great%u2026

IF THERE WAS ANY F---ING WAY TO MAKE A G.D. PHONE CALL ON THE AT&T NETWORK

Never had a problem here.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

The headline is wrong. AT&T won't be offering HD voice iPhone 5, but rather iPhone 5S

I don't see why the iPhone 5 wouldn't be able to do HD Voice on AT&T. It already includes the necessary components.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #9 of 22
Well this is going to be convenient but less dropped calls(a tiny improvement would make it less than one per year per person) and more areas covered with lasting signal strength (minimum 1.5 bars not .7) which both can average to one.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

Well this is going to be convenient but less dropped calls(a tiny improvement would make it less than one per year per person) and more areas covered with lasting signal strength (minimum 1.5 bars not .7) which both can average to one
that is what Imeant.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I don't see why the iPhone 5 wouldn't be able to do HD Voice on AT&T. It already includes the necessary components.
I know what you mean once AT&T activates a high enough bandwidth for it, the iPhone 5 and later will support it, and future android copiers. Just a wonder does FaceTime currently use this improved sound?
post #12 of 22

Facetime wouldn't apply because the video and sound all go over data.

 

In fact, I figured the only way to get good call quality on an iPhone on AT&T was to make a Facetime call! 1wink.gif

 

I've never experience good, clear call clarity with AT&T. At least nothing on par with what Verizon and Sprint offer. Speaking of call clarity only (not talking about coverage and/or dropped calls), AT&T is by far the worst when it comes to call quality. 

 

It is only a matter of time before all cell phones are data only and calls are all VOIP. That will allow the internals of phones to get smaller in the process. We are a few years out, but that will be the reality. 

post #13 of 22
Denver can't even get a consistent 4G coverage, yet alone LTE. Also, calls get dropped even though the phone shows those four bars. AT&T fix your existing network!!!
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteric View Post

Facetime wouldn't apply because the video and sound all go over data.

It applies to FaceTime since it is VoIP. However, FaceTime uses AAC-LD, which is a low-delay version of AAC that can be found in products like Cisco's TelePresence. It's common for teleconferencing where you're likely to have plenty of bandwidth. And since audio will have the lowest impact on the bandwidth it's not usually a big deal. AAC-LD uses more bandwidth than the ITU's G.722.x. When it comes to the cellular companies, even with LTE, there are plenty of reasons that you won't have high-bandwidth constantly.

I don't know how difference the voices sound but AAC-LD is 22 kHz and G.722 is 7 kHz. That makes AAC-LD better for voice and audio. I believe 44 kHz is what an Audio CD uses, so AAC-LD is really good at one-half that of an Audio CD which means FaceTime can rely music pretty well (not that you'd likely be using appropriate speakers to know it), but Wideband Audio can't, it's just a major improvement over Narrowband Audio. Audio Codecs designed for speech aren't good with audio and can't scale to adapt to audio, not that it's necessary with a phone call.

G.722 has a MOS of 4.5 which is great so I don't think anyone will be complaining.


I can't find a MOS for AAC-LD. In fact, I've never seen a MOS rating for anything that wasn't used by the phone company.

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post #15 of 22
I'm sure AT&T will add HD voice and add another fee if you want to use it too. Another $10 a month if you want to add HD voice. I can easily imagine it now in there advertising.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by b9bot View Post

I'm sure AT&T will add HD voice and add another fee if you want to use it too. Another $10 a month if you want to add HD voice. I can easily imagine it now in there advertising.

I doubt it because they can't be sure that you'll have HD Audio from start to finish and any single drop to narrowband means that it's all narrowband quality. It's also part of a planned upgrade path. T-Mobile USA might have pushed them to add it sooner than later but this change has been in the works for a long time.

Also, at this point it's just the newer and high-end smartphones that support it, which means customers that are already highly valued customers. If they advertise it I think they will simply advertise the phones that support it thus getting even more customers into a more expensive phone, 2-year contract, and data plan. At least that's how I'd go about if I were running AT&T, but I'd also make voice and text messages inclusive and also for automatic tiering so there is no threat of getting some outrageous bill that nickel-and-dimes you for overage fees... but that's me.

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post #17 of 22

Sorry, I'm not understanding how this works. HD Audio is still a "voice" technology that requires a "telephone" as opposed to just a data device, is that right? It uses some technology that is not part of the "data" allotment?

 

If the above is correct, why do the carriers continue to invest in voice-only technologies like this? Wouldn't their long-term options be better served by moving everything onto the "data" stream?

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Sorry, I'm not understanding how this works. HD Audio is still a "voice" technology that requires a "telephone" as opposed to just a data device, is that right? It uses some technology that is not part of the "data" allotment?

If the above is correct, why do the carriers continue to invest in voice-only technologies like this? Wouldn't their long-term options be better served by moving everything onto the "data" stream?

I don't understand your comment. It's a voice algorithm that can be used by a voice-only network or with VoIP (i.e.: over an IP data network). In either case the carrier needs to be involved and they can still monitor usage by minutes so don't think that voice will all of a sudden be lumped in as your HTTP data. Lets remember there is a lot of HW and technologies involved to make VoIP work in ways that doesn't affect HTTP.

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post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by veloboldie View Post

Denver can't even get a consistent 4G coverage, yet alone LTE.

 

You're confused.

post #20 of 22
I "love" how a new technology is so "it only barely works at all" for so many decades that it's in many ways greatly inferior to the "old" technology it sought to replace (a copper landline is my preferred voice communication, if "in person" is impossible; where's all that fiber optic crap we were promised for the future, decades ago?).
post #21 of 22

Personally I would rather see encrypted voice before I saw HD Voice.

post #22 of 22
Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post
…if "in person" is impossible; where's all that fiber optic crap we were promised for the future, decades ago?

 

In money form in the pockets of the CEOs of the telecoms who were told (and paid) to roll it out.

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