While the rest of the world is still deliberating on when to start offering 4G services and when to hold 4G spectrum auctions, SK Telecom has upped the ante by becoming the first telecoms company to offer voice call services in HD through the use of “audio codecs capable of handling 2.2 times wider frequency bandwidth than that of 3G voice calls.” The audio codec to be used is Adapted Multi-Rate Wide Band (AMR-WB) codec notes Korea IT Times.
Such is the quality of voice calls that users will actually feel that the caller will think that the person he/she is talking to is just right there, next to him/her. Another startling revelation is that the call connect time for a HD call will be anywhere between 0.25 to 2.5 seconds compared to 5 seconds in a 3G call making it around 2 to 20 times faster than the latter.
As of now the Korean company is going to sell Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE embedded with HD Voice feature starting August 8. Users who already have the Galaxy S3, will be provided with firmware upgrades capable of handling HD calls within this month.
“With the commercialization of HD Voice, SK Telecom firmly establishes itself as top LTE service provider in terms of market share, network infrastructure and technology.” said Joon-dong Bae, President of Network Operation Business of SK Telecom.
US is running a little behind in terms of Voice over LTE. Verizon Wireless and Metro PCS are planning to launch such a service this year itself while AT&T and Clearwire might be doing it in 2013. According to Infonetics Research, “the first VoLTE services [are] launching in late 2012."