Vodafone launches HD Voice tech for UK customers

Vodafone has rolled out HD Voice technology to UK customers in a bid to improve call quality.

The mobile operator rolls out the technology and joins EE and Three in offering higher quality calls. These operators have been offering HD Voice since 2010.

The technology will be available to business and consumer customers with compatible handsets. The service automatically activates in areas covered by the operator's 3G network. Calls will still be charged at normal rates.

Vodafone's 4G customers will also get HD quality calls when their phone uses 3G to make calls.

Normally, phone calls use a very narrow range of frequencies between 300Hz to 3,400Hz. While this allows for an acceptable call quality, the human voice can range between 80Hz and 14,000Hz. HD Voice ranges from 50Hz to 7,000Hz, which improves the sound to the human ear.

However, customers will only notice the improved quality when calling other people on the same network. There are no current details when it will work when calling people on other networks. The technology will also not work with Vodafone's Sure Signal, Open Sure Signal, and in-building coverage offerings.

"When you're on the call, you'll get a wider range of voice tone, so the voice will sound more like the person you're actually speaking to, and less of a digital version of themselves. HD Voice filters out background noise too, so if you're stood in a noisy environment like a busy street, you'll be able to hear people's voices more easily," said Andrew Rosser, project manager at Vodafone on the firm's blog.

Vodafone UK Technology Director, Fergal Kelly, said: "Our HD Voice brings our best call quality to our customers. It is another important step towards our commitment to deliver our strongest ever network to the UK."

The mobile operator said the introduction of HD Voice was part of its 1 billion network and services upgrade. The company is targeting 98 per cent UK coverage with its 2G, 3G and 4G services.

Last month, Vodafone revealed that its 4G network has more than a million subscribers and now reaches more than 313 cities, towns and districts in the UK.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.