AT&T turns on HD voice support to its HTC One M8

AT&T is rolling out a software update this week to the HTC One M8 supporting HD voice, reports Android Police.

The update presumably adds support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) as a part of the update to Android 4.4.4, along with other tweaks, including improved battery performance and enhancements to security and Bluetooth.

Sri Lanka gets HD voice

HD voice is now available in Sri Lanka.  Etisalat announced the service through Twitter this morning, with a pointer to a page at

The web page notes that there are “over 300” smartphones supporting HD voice.  There’s no charge for the service on 3G; no support for 2G and phones have to be “changed” to 3G mode in order to get HD.

T-Mobile Netherlands (finally, officially) turns up HD voice on its 3G network

Last month, T-Mobile Netherlands announced the completion of HD voice across its 3G network, with service activated for both customers.

Back in May, the carrier said it was starting to test HD voice, but there are bits and pieces suggesting T-Mobile Netherlands were running tests of HD voice near the Hague as early as 2010.

A number of carriers have been running HD voice in the Netherlands, including Vodafone and KPN.  There are also may be one or more IPX exchanges that may be supporting cross-carrier HD voice calls.

Deutsche Telekom turns up HD voice on its 2G network

While most recent hype has been on VoLTE deployments, Deutsche Telekom (DT) is backfilling HD voice service, adding support for AMR-WB on its GSM network this month.

DT has previously turned up HD voice on its 3G UMTS/HSPA-ish network. The carrier notes it is the first one in Germany to support HD on its 2G network.

As standard these days, there’s no extra charge for HD voice calls.

Editorial: HD Voice News updates and future plans for 2015 are coming

Due to a variety of things going on, I haven’t had time to update HD Voice News. 

I apologize for that.  But readers should keep in mind that advertising support for this web site over the past two years has been… zero.

So when it is a choice between paying the bills or charity work, paying the bills tends to get priority.  There’s a longer discussion in here about how nobody really knows how to support journalism anymore, with the Internet just acting as an echo chamber for a single posting, with 30 other people rewriting the same original piece… but… I digress.

At some point in the future, I may “sell” to an appropriate party.  I have over 5 years of SEO equity built on the site, so it tends to pop up on the first or second pages of most searchers with “HD voice in them.” (Lower these days, but I have to pay the bills).

I am going to try to do weekly updates, since that seems to be about the frequency of news that comes out these days.

– Doug

Deutsche Telekom starts HD voice transcoding in Germany

Updated at 1:45 PM ET with edits

Deutsche Telekom (DT) has officially confirmed it is transcoding HD voice between its 3G mobile network and its IP-based fixed line network in Germany.  The company said it has been transcoding since October 9, 2014.

Transcoding between AMR-WB, the mobile world’s HD voice standard, and G.722 – the most popular broadband HD voice codec –- takes place automatically and there is no additional cost for subscribers if both callers are on DT’s network. 

G.722 is the codec first used in ISDN digital calls and more recently with European consumer broadband service offerings as a part of a broadband package with voice and data.  It is included in the DECT CAT-iq 2.0 standard adopted by DT, Orange, and the CableLabs consortium.  The codec is also incorporated into almost every IP desktop handset phone shipping today and most cloud business voice services, the Ooma over-the-top (OTT) consumer broadband VoIP service, and a number of Unified Communications (UC) soft clients.

DT is the first carrier to publicly announce HD voice transcoding between its wireless and wireline networks.  Orange has alluded to doing transcoding between its wireless and broadband customers, but has not made any formal announcements. U.S. carriers, it would appear, aren’t even in the ballpark yet.

The announcement comes a month after GSMA issued a white paper suggesting WebRTC should adapt the AMR-WB codec as a part of its mandatory standards in order to avoid transcoding, due to potential to lose voice quality and add delays to the call.  It appears DT has mastered the technology within its own network to be comfortable with transcoding between wireless and wireline networks.

Editorial: Snapshots of HD voice progress this month at TMCnet

I have  pair of articles on TMC discussing the latest progress of HD voice in the United States and around the globe.

For the U.S.–

HD voice has finally arrived on all four major U.S. wireless carriers. However, users should be aware of the different issues and potential problems with some carriers. 

Verizon launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE) last week, but only supports four phones and lost support for name and company name Caller ID info in the process (Not what I’d call Advanced Calling 1.0; more like Advanced Calling 0.9 when you LOSE features associated with analog calling).  You’ll also drop calls when moving between VoLTE and CDMA networks (Advanced Calling 0.8, maybe?)

Worldwide, HD voice is available on 116 mobile operators in 75 countries.

The kickers here are 3G HSPA operators playing catch up with the rest of the world and the forthcoming wave of VoLTE deployments that will roll out between the end of the year and the end of 2015.

As always, HD voice interoperability (i.e., being able to make seamless end-to-end HD voice calls across/regardless of network) looms large as the next big step for the mobile world. The SBC guys are going to have a field day over the next three years.

— Doug

AT&T talks VoLTE interoperability at CTIA 2014

AT&T SVP Kris Rinne, said the carrier is working with others on enabling direct VoLTE calls between networks, saith LightReading.

Deployment of VoLTE on AT&T’s network is being done on a market-by-market basis, due in part because of the need to adjust network traffic to be more symmetrical.

Sprint: 16 million customers have access to HD voice

A Sprint executive stated that 16 million customers have access to its HD voice service through its Qualcomm-based technology, but it wants a “solid” VoLTE experience before it releases the service, according to a report in Fierce Wireless and from others in attendance.

Speaking at the 4G World conference, Chief Network Officer Dr. John Saw said Sprint offers 30 regular model smartphones and 33 prepaid handsets with HD voice capability.

Bigger Apple iPhones support VoLTE

In yesterday’s launch of Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the company announced support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE) with the new hardware.  Apple’s comparison chart between the 5 and 6 families indicates only the new phones will support VoLTE, so prepare to open your wallet.

With three out of four (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon by end of year) offering VoLTE, Apple had to offer VoLTE at some point in time. Various Android models have supported VoLTE for over a year while Microsoft added it into the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 released over the summer.

The iPhone 5s and 5c support HD voice on HSPA networks with the service, so there are plenty of iPhones already making HD voice calls.  Sprint quietly rolled out support for its Qualcomm-specific version of HD voice on the iPhone 5s/5c over the summer.

For current iPhone 5s/5c owners, there’s a possibility that a “Jailbreak” version of iOS could support VoLTE on their hardware. Earlier jailbreaks have provided HD voice support to the iPhone 4s and 5 on HSPA networks.