MTN HD voice calls launched

MTN has gone live with HD voice calling technology using the Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) coding standard, chief technology officer for MTN South Africa Eben Albertyn said.

Most modern smartphones support the technology, and Albertyn said that to experience the benefits of HD Voice, both the caller and receiver must have compatible handsets.

“Currently, there are no HD voice calls on LTE, so this technology applies to 3G calls,” Albertyn said.

He added that due to very limited handset support for AMR-WB on 2G calls, MTN has not activated HD Voice for 2G calls.

MTN’s announcement that it has rolled out HD Voice in South Africa breaks a long silence from local mobile operators on the subject.

While networks in African countries such as Uganda, Mauritius, and Egypt already had HD Voice support in 2013, South African operators remained largely mum about the topic.

Only Vodacom said, at the time, that it was evaluating the commercial viability of HD Voice, while Cell C said in September 2012 that it had “no immediate plans” to roll out HD Voice.

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MTN HD voice calls launched