Ovum: HD voice won’t bring more money for mobile operators

Ovum is putting its two cents worth in for mobile HD voice – but it won’t be money going to mobile operators.  Instead, call quality might be the business differentiator between carriers for now. The analyst report also confirms an earlier report that mobile operators will make a HD voice interoperabilty announcement at Mobile World Congress.

Last week Ovum got a demo of mobile HD voice thanks to 3 UK.  Call quality was “markedly better,” with sound “clearer and more resonant” thanks to the use of AMR-WB.  Overall, the experience was described as “more like a face-to-face” conversation than a normal mobile or wireline call and under ideal conditions AMR-WB is expected to pull a MOS rating of 4.0.

Ovum calls implementing HD voice as a “relatively painless” step for operators that “may sort the 3G sheep from the 2G goats” since in order to deliver HD voice you have to run IP on a good network.

Interestingly, Ovum says that 3 UK has no plans to actually provide HD voice anytime soon.

The Ovum piece goes on to say that HD voice is “of limited commercial significance” since it will be launched initially as an on-net service and not  provide a footprint for more money since mobile calls will fall back to PSTN quality when calling landlines.

It also says there is a “working group” of mobile operators working out details for HD voice exchange and an announcement “is planned” for Mobile World Congress.

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