T-Mobile will be only US carrier to offer 'HD Voice' on Apple's iPhone 5

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
At a media event announcing its new payment plans and 4G network on Tuesday, T-Mobile was certain to point out that it will be the only U.S. carrier offering high-fidelity voice transmissions with the iPhone 5.

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The iPhone will arrive April 12 on T-Mobile's network, along with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and a range of other smartphones. Making the announcement Tuesday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere pointed out that the iPhone 5 will support the carrier's branded "HD Voice" calling ? a feature that T-Mobile took nationwide earlier this year.

HD Voice, T-Mobile says, is a dramatic improvement over current in-call voice quality standards. The feature requires that both parties on a call use a T-Mobile 4G smartphone and be connected to either the carrier's 3G, 4G HSPA+, or 4G LTE network.

Legere, calling the iPhone's appearance on T-Mobile the start of a "long relationship," said that Apple's phone will have access to 50 percent more bandwidth on T-Mobile's network than it will on AT&T. The iPhone 5 on T-Mobile will work across all three layers of the carrier's network, including the 1900MHz spectrum, AWS spectrum, and LTE.

Legere pointed out other benefits he said T-Mobile customers will get. Compared to a two-year contract with AT&T, T-Mobile customers will save $1,000 over the same period, according to Legere.

The iPhone 5 will arrive on T-Mobile's network on April 12 for $99 with 20 additional monthly payments of $20. Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will also be available, but only select markets and channels.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    I'm all for anything that removes the subconscious belief now ingrained in society that hearing someone through a telephone implies lower-quality audio than that which we're hearing otherwise in whatever media we're consuming.


     


    But it actually has to be better to do that. It has been almost ONE HUNDRED FORTY YEARS and call quality is still below that of a face to face conversation.

  • Reply 2 of 46
    Translation: T-Mobile will be the only carrier in the United States on which one could make a f---ing voice call.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member


    It's too bad their coverage sucks or I'd leave Verizon behind.

  • Reply 4 of 46
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post



    Translation: T-Mobile will be the only carrier in the United States on which one could make a f---ing voice call.


    And they support WiFi voice calling and WiFi TXT when there is poor cell signal.


     


    Their coverage map seems broken at the moment but as I recall it is not as widespread as AT&T and Verizon. if you can make WiFi calls that might be enough to offset their lack of cell signal in some areas, although I'm not sure how you would receive a call but maybe you can.


     


    Edit: After reading more it only works on some Android phones.

  • Reply 5 of 46
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The feature requires that both parties on a call use a T-Mobile 4G smartphone and be connected to either the carrier's 3G, 4G HSPA+, or 4G LTE network.

     


     


    So like pushing higher and higher PPI even though most folks are half blind, this feature will be pointless for most. I feel for the folks at Apple dealing with call quality complaints and having to explain that the whole HQ doesn't work with your mother who is on Verizon etc So long as these are the same phones as the AT&T I'm cool. Boss buys our phones unlocked so we can take them to our studio in Australia no issues

  • Reply 6 of 46
    They're so late to this party, it's not even worth a press release at this point. I stopped using T-Mobile so long ago...
  • Reply 7 of 46
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member


    I don't believe HD voice is part of the kitchen sink list of features on the Galaxy S4? 

  • Reply 8 of 46
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) 50% more bandwidth? Really? Considering they only have 7 cities where LTE will work with the iPhone 5 that seems disingenuous. Now they could mean bandwidth as "a range of frequencies within a given band" instead of the more colloquial data rate but that is doubly disingenuous in this context..

    2) Save $1000 over 2 years? Seeing as how the subsidy is much less than other US carriers it seems the only way that can be true is if you are comparing uneven services and access.

    3.a) HD Voice is simply ITU-T's [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.722.2]G.722.2 standard[/URL]. It's not new but it is uncommon for mobile network operators to use. It's more commonly used in intranetwork VoIP setups because it does result in a natural sounding voice since it does use the higher and lower range of what the human voice is capable of. Unfortunately, you do need to have this throughout the entire chain.

    3.b) What Wikipedia has to say about it is accurate: "Wideband audio is an audio technology used in telephony. It extends the frequency range of audio signals transmitted over telephone lines, resulting in higher quality speech. The range of the human voice extends from 80 Hz to 14 kHz but traditional, voiceband or narrowband telephone calls limit audio frequencies to the range of 300 Hz to 3.4 kHz. Wideband audio relaxes the bandwidth limitation and transmits in the audio frequency range of 50 Hz to 7 kHz or higher."

    3.c) I'd like for other carriers to adopt this. It does require more voice overhead as which can slow down speed of the vice traffic but I think people are using voice calls less and I thin the rate at which they have grown out their networks probably means they can support it. It would be nice to get higher quality calls like we had in the analog phone days.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    stelligent wrote: »
    I don't believe HD voice is part of the kitchen sink list of features on the Galaxy S4? 

    I don't think that would have nothing to do with the device. The handset can negotiate a range of voice codecs from the carrier. Plus, if one link in a call doesn't support it the whole thing goes to the weakest encode.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member


    It's time to end the "minutes" scam, and just do voice over data.

  • Reply 11 of 46
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,613member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I'm all for anything that removes the subconscious belief now ingrained in society that hearing someone through a telephone implies lower-quality audio than that which we're hearing otherwise in whatever media we're consuming.


     


    But it actually has to be better to do that. It has been almost ONE HUNDRED FORTY YEARS and call quality is still below that of a face to face conversation.



     


    Why would it ever be as good as a face-to-face conversation?   In a live face-to-face conversation, there's no analog to digital conversion, no quantization, no compression, no limited frequency response and unless you're using a video call app, you can't read someone's lips or expression, which actually adds quite a bit to comprehension.   Except in the areas of noise (tape hiss, etc.), audio quality over the years as we've converted to digital media has gotten worse, not better.


     


    Even in the ideal situation of a recording studio, in order to get quality as good as a conversation, you need a $3000 microphone, such as a Neumann U87 and that's aside from all the other equipment necessary.


     


    That's not the issue.


     


    The issue is why can't a phone call sound as good as a web call.     One answer is to look at the cost of the speakers and microphones that we put into smartphones (of any brand).   It's amazing that they work as well as they do.   Another is to look at what happens when you lower bit rates and compress data streams.  

  • Reply 12 of 46
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ifij775 wrote: »
    It's time to end the "minutes" scam, and just do voice over data.

    Voice traffic is inherent a different kind of data than the standard data we send. There are additional costs involved to make voice work properly. And while the prices seem exorbitant for you get they are nothing compared to text messaging.
  • Reply 13 of 46
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

    …no compression, no limited frequency response… …you need a $3000 microphone…


     


    That's not the issue.



     


    Really? These things aren't the issue? The… core issues aren't the issue? The fact that it still costs that much to get this quality isn't the issue? 





    One answer is to look at the cost of the speakers and microphones that we put into smartphones (of any brand). It's amazing that they work as well as they do. Another is to look at what happens when you lower bit rates and compress data streams.  



     


    So basically everything that is the issue isn't the issue, except it is.

  • Reply 14 of 46
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post



    Translation: T-Mobile will be the only carrier in the United States on which one could make a f---ing voice call.


    Well, we can make f---ing voice calls now, it's just that the quality sucks.  I'm sure the others will do something similar.  Yeah, I've always hated using a cell phone for making calls, that's why I use them only when I need to rather than using them for insignificant calls where all you do for 5 minutes is ask the other person "Can you hear me now?"


     


    I remember getting my first cell phone and that was pretty much what people did for most of their phone calls.  I had a friend of mine that always seem to buy a new cell phone every couple of months and he used to call me to test his phone service to see if I could hear him.  It was funny back in the beginning of the cell phone era.

  • Reply 15 of 46
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    I'm on contract with AT&T (I have a plan I like and coverage/speed are good and voice quality is flawless; I'm not recording a Beethoven concert here!). But in 1.5 years when I'm a free man... and T-Mobile has had time to build out their coverage a little more... this sounds good to me! It's absurd that ANY company gets away with charging you for a subsidy after you've already paid off the phone.


     


    I like the idea of having 500MB of high-speed coverage (which is just under what I typically use) and than automatically dropping down to 3G but unlimited. If it works that way, I might be OK with the lowest plan they have.

  • Reply 16 of 46
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    1) 50% more bandwidth? Really? Considering they only have 7 cities where LTE will work with the iPhone 5 that seems disingenuous. Now they could mean bandwidth as "a range of frequencies within a given band" instead of the more colloquial data rate but that is doubly disingenuous in this context..

    2) Save $1000 over 2 years? Seeing as how the subsidy is much less than other US carriers it seems the only way that can be true is if you are comparing uneven services and access.

    3.a) HD Voice is simply ITU-T's G.722.2 standard. It's not new but it is uncommon for mobile network operators to use. It's more commonly used in intranetwork VoIP setups because it does result in a natural sounding voice since it does use the higher and lower range of what the human voice is capable of. Unfortunately, you do need to have this throughout the entire chain.

    3.b) What Wikipedia has to say about it is accurate: "Wideband audio is an audio technology used in telephony. It extends the frequency range of audio signals transmitted over telephone lines, resulting in higher quality speech. The range of the human voice extends from 80 Hz to 14 kHz but traditional, voiceband or narrowband telephone calls limit audio frequencies to the range of 300 Hz to 3.4 kHz. Wideband audio relaxes the bandwidth limitation and transmits in the audio frequency range of 50 Hz to 7 kHz or higher."

    3.c) I'd like for other carriers to adopt this. It does require more voice overhead as which can slow down speed of the vice traffic but I think people are using voice calls less and I thin the rate at which they have grown out their networks probably means they can support it. It would be nice to get higher quality calls like we had in the analog phone days.

    First, T-Mobile may lack LTE on a grand scale, but it fully supports HSPA+, which is considered 4G. When your data is capped on carriers like AT&T, how fast do you need your data? Watch one steamed movie and you exceeded your cap. 3G is fine for surfing the web, email, and streaming music. HSPA+ is more than great.

    Second, the closest comparable plan to T-Mobile's $60 plan on AT&T costs $130, but lacks the hotspot abilities and isn't unlimited.
  • Reply 17 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    2) Save $1000 over 2 years? Seeing as how the subsidy is much less than other US carriers it seems the only way that can be true is if you are comparing uneven services and access.

     


     


    It's actually a little more than $1000 over 2 years per individual line and that's comparing T-Mobile's unlimited minutes, text and data to ATT's 5GB plan. Don't believe me, T-Mobile or AI? Feel free to set up these plans on the company's websites to see for yourself.

  • Reply 18 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I'm on contract with AT&T (I have a plan I like and coverage/speed are good and voice quality is flawless; I'm not recording a Beethoven concert here!). But in 1.5 years when I'm a free man... and T-Mobile has had time to build out their coverage a little more... this sounds good to me! It's absurd that ANY company gets away with charging you for a subsidy after you've already paid off the phone.


     


    I like the idea of having 500MB of high-speed coverage (which is just under what I typically use) and than automatically dropping down to 3G but unlimited. If it works that way, I might be OK with the lowest plan they have.



     


    Careful. You drop to edge not 3G. It's sloooow. Still the right choice in my opinion.

  • Reply 19 of 46

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    And they support WiFi voice calling and WiFi TXT when there is poor cell signal.


     


    Their coverage map seems broken at the moment but as I recall it is not as widespread as AT&T and Verizon. if you can make WiFi calls that might be enough to offset their lack of cell signal in some areas, although I'm not sure how you would receive a call but maybe you can.


     


    Edit: After reading more it only works on some Android phones.



    It works exactly like regular phone service. You can make calls, receive calls, all on Wi-Fi. It even shuts off the cell radio by default when Wi-Fi Calling is being used, to save battery life. It's pretty slick.

  • Reply 20 of 46
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


     



    3.c) I'd like for other carriers to adopt this. It does require more voice overhead as which can slow down speed of the vice traffic but I think people are using voice calls less and I thin the rate at which they have grown out their networks probably means they can support it. It would be nice to get higher quality calls like we had in the analog phone days.


     


    If I understand the whole thing correctly this would, if universally adopted, remove the need for voice at all. Perhaps keep it as a back up for emergency calls but everything else could become essentially VoIP. Then move 'texting' to data (AT&T at least has for mms off iPhones) and only a data plan is needed. 


     


    Rather like the notion of taking TV digital in the sense that it is just particular data on your broadband and not something unique that needs a second payment

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