HD calling has been making its way around the world. One of the first real pushes to HD voice and HD calling began in 2010 with the mobile carrier being Orange. It began an aggressive expansion that now covers much of Orange's service area. However, there was a catch with HD calling. You could only use it when calling people within your own country. Even if you were calling someone on Orange in another country with HD calling.
That has come to an end. As of today, Orange has begun tearing down the walls between countries to allow HD calling to all its customers no matter who they're calling. For starters, Orange has turned on HD calling on calls between Moldova and Romania. So if you live in either of those countries, you can now call one another and get the full HD calling experience.
It's a good start, but incomplete. Orange has HD calling available in 14 countries in total. It hasn't been announced when the other 12 will hop on the bandwagon and allow HD calling to other countries. So if you're not in Romania or Moldova, there isn't news on when your HD calling will be usable outside of your home country.
It appears as though that is the game plan. As stated, Orange hasn't announced when other countries will get HD calling between countries. However, they have announced that more countries will get regular, country-restricted HD calling in the very near future.
HD calling is definitely a unique feature and future of telephone communication. Orange has done a good job so far of providing it to most of their service area. HD calling has even made its way to the United States with the release of the HTC EVO 4G LTE. Hopefully, it won't be much longer before everyone can make HD voice calls to one another.
If you'd like to know more, check out the press release below. Has anyone tried the new HD calling between countries yet? How is it?
* Orange overcomes technical challenges to deliver the world's first HD voice direct interconnect between two operators
* Orange reinforces its leadership position again as the world's first operator to launch HD voice
International Mobile HD voice: a technical challenge
From today, Orange customers in Romania and Moldova will be able to enjoy HD quality voice calls between the two countries. For the first time in the world, Orange has been able to interconnect these two mobile networks with different infrastructure to ensuring end-to-end HD voice quality from one country to another. From now on, when a call is made between two HD voice mobile phones from these countries, Orange customers will enjoy crystal clear sound instead of “standard” voice quality.
This achievement is the fruit of an international project team's labours, bringing together key skill sets within the Group, Moldova and Romania. The success of mobile HD voice in these adjacent countries, alongside their linguistic and cultural proximity, is at the root of Orange Romania and Orange Moldova's decision to extend the mobile HD voice offering between their two countries.
“Mobile HD voice offers noticeably better audio quality, and brings a real satisfaction to Orange clients. Almost 4 million customers have switched to HD voice in 14 countries, compared to 1 million customers a year ago. This is a true commercial success and demonstrates Orange's commitment to give our customers the best mobile experience available”, said Paul-François Fournier, Orange's Technocentre Executive VP.
Orange's ambition is to make HD voice calling accessible by 2013
As the world's first operator to launch HD voice in Moldova in 2009, Orange is pursuing a strategy to make HD voice mobile generally accessible, for it to become the communication standard of tomorrow.
HD voice brings an impression of closeness and presence, a clearer, richer and more natural sound and significantly reduced background noise in noisy environments, making it easier to understand conversations, even whispered. Furthermore, it's now available on a wide range of compatible mobile phones: close to 80 models from 10 different suppliers.
Orange already offers mobile HD voice in 14 countries: Moldova, Armenia, Belgium, France (Metropolitan and Reunion), Spain (Catalonia), United Kingdom, Egypt (Cairo), Luxembourg, Mauritius, Romania, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Uganda and Jordan. Further launches in Africa and the Middle East are scheduled by the end of 2012.