Mobistar (www.mobistar.be), France Telecom/Orange’s Belgium subsidiary, has now announced mobile HD service in Belgium.
Mobile HD voice service is available through Mobistar’s 3G network and provided via AMR-WB codec. Customers of Mobistar get mobile HD voice service free of charge.
Mobistar’s network covers 90 percent of the population. Current devices supported .. well, not really clear from the website at this time, but since Mobistar currently has various Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, and Samsung models listed, there is (or will be) at least one or two AMR-WB models available from those respective manufacturers.
Tallying up France Telecom’s mobile HD voice announcements to date so far:
- Moldova – September 2009
- Armenia – June 2010
- UK – Late August 2010 (operational)
- France – September 2010 (operational)
- Spain – Barcelona (Feb 2010), Catalonia (Sept 13, 2010)
At the beginning of the year, France Telecom said the UK, France, Spain and Luxembourg were all on the roadmap for HD voice. Since Mobistar operates in Belgium and Luxembourg, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that an announcement about the latter country will come shortly, if not by the end of the year.
HD Voice News will also go so far as to suggest that Tunisia will also be on the mobile HD voice announcement list by the end of the year. France Telecom has put a lot of money into a spanking new “3G+’ network for Tunisia and since it has mobile HD voice service running in Armenia and Moldova, it is no great leap of faith to say that Tunisia will have AMR-WB service before any U.S. mobile carrier.