HD voice hits South Africa

August 26th, 2014, Published in Articles: EngineerIT


Users can now enjoy high quality, high definition cellphone calls.  MTN is the first operator in South Africa to launch adaptive multi-rate wideband (AMR-WB) technology – more commonly referred to as high definition voice (HD voice).

Now you can enjoy high quality high definition cellphone calls.

Now you can enjoy high quality high definition cellphone calls.

HD voice is available across MTN’s 3G network nationally, provided you use a cellphone supporting  AMR-WB to run a HD voice active call. HD voice extends the frequency range of signals transmitted over the radio air interface resulting in higher quality speech. The range of the human voice extends from 80 Hz to 14 kHz but traditional, voiceband or narrowband telephone calls limit audio frequencies to the range of 300 Hz to 3,4 kHz.

In comparison, AMR-WB technology extends the available audio frequency range to  7 KHz with the additional low frequency range providing improved call naturalness, presence and comfort, and the higher range better sound differentiation and therefore higher call intelligibility.

Conversations on HD voice will sound as natural and clear as if you are talking to someone in the same room. Fatigue will be reduced, making for more intelligible conversations. It enables clear conversations on many smartphone devices and gives users an optimal user experience which has, until now, been the sole preserve of fixed-line networks.

“The benefits of clear, high-quality voice communication are even more tangible for enterprise users, who have been quick to recognise the potential impact of HD voice in business-critical areas such as conference calls and the fast-growing voice-recognition-services market, where better voice quality can lead to improved efficiency, reduced costs and a more productive working environment,” says Krishna Chetty, GM: Radio Optimisation and Planning at MTN South Africa.

He says that computer-based processes like voice recognition and speech-to-text could also benefit from HD voice as it provides better accuracy.

This solution will not be available for the foreseeable future on the LTE and 2G network as there are currently no voice calls on the new generation 4G network and very limited handset support on the 2G network, but as the technology and device ecosystem matures this position could change. MTN said that there is no additional charge for HD calls as it forms part of a customer’s existing call plan.


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