According to multiple reports, Orange Romania has flipped the switch on HD voice in the country. At this rate, mobile HD voice service will be available throughout most of Europe by the end of the year.
HD voice service will be free of charge to all Orange customers “for all national and local calls” in 3G coverage, according to the Business Review. Users have to have compatible handsets; currently Orange Romania has the Samsung Galaxy mini, Nokia E5, and Nokia E8 available, with more AMR-WB capable phones to be added to the portfolio in the coming months.
Today’s announcement came as a part of a larger one where Orange Romania plans to invest EUR 110 million into network upgrades and expansion in 2011, with an expectation that between EUR 500 million and EUR 600 million will be invested in Romania by 2015. The new technology upgrades will include better energy efficiency and LTE-ready gear.
Orange Romania covers 88.8 percent of the country’s area and 99.5 percent of the population and is the leading carrier in the country with 10.5 million subscribers at the end of 2010. Vodafone holds the number 2 slot in the country with 9.8 million subscribers, so it will be interesting to see if it introduces HD voice as well; Vodafone is already planning to roll out wideband service in Turkey, with trials currently underway in Istanbul.