By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 02, 2013 09:45 AM EDT
AT&T is apparently gearing up to roll out HD Voice technology on its LTE network later this year, providing better call quality to its subscribers.
This means that AT&T will take a good bite out of T-Mobile USA's current exclusive on the high-quality voice call system.
According to an AllThingsD report on Monday, April 1 (and no, it's no April Fool's prank), AT&T will enable HD Voice for the iPhone 5 later in 2013, as AT&T Senior Vice President Kris Rinnie confirmed that HD Voice is part of the network's "voice over LTE strategy."
HD Voice, also referred to as wideband audio, involves adding more frequency data to each call, pushing the limits closer to what the human ear hears. This translates to better call quality, as the name of the technology suggests.
The end result is a more natural and realistic-sounding voice call, but the technology will take its toll on bandwidth. AT&T plans to use Voice over LTE (VoLTE) strategy to address this issue, taking advantage of 4G to accommodate the higher-quality calls.
On the other hand, this means that AT&T must have VoLTE up and running before even thinking to switch HD Voice on. Another thing worth noting is that for HD Voice to work, both handsets involved in the call, as well as the network, have to support the feature.
While Europe-based mobile users already have the technology for some time now, U.S. carriers only recently started to consider incorporating HD Voice into their respective services. Sprint enabled the technology on its network last year, though in a limited capacity, while T-Mobile just announced that its upcoming iPhone 5, due to arrive on April 12, will sport HD Voice.
The majority of U.S. mobile users won't be able to enjoy much clearer calls with HD Voice technology anytime soon, but the AT&T announcement, along with recent efforts by other carriers, do signal a gradual shift in the right direction.
News of AT&T's plans, however, might not be such a nice surprise for T-Mobile USA, which touted the technology as one of its differentiating factors when it finally announced it will be carrying the iPhone 5.
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