Orange first to launch mobile High Definition Voice for UK businesses - the biggest advance in calls in twenty years

October 28, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Orange announces the biggest advance in voice calls in 20 years with the launch of its mobile High Definition (HD) Voice service, enabling businesses to benefit from the next era in mobile communications. Increased call clarity and the filtering out of background noise make important business conversations possible no matter where they are conducted.

Call clarity has emerged as a necessity for many businesses. Recent market research* from Orange has shown that 75% of business owners believe clear call quality to be the most important aspect of their mobile device; with 33% saying they routinely struggled to hold phone conversations due to the noisy environment they work in. With HD Voice, neither a noisy work environment or being out of the office are barriers to a successful call with customers, colleagues or suppliers.

Orange HD Voice also eliminates the perceived distance between callers making it easier to hear the emotions in people's voices. According to the research, this is seen as crucial with 80% of business owners stating that it is very important to hear people's emotions when conducting a conversation. Almost one in five (18%) even admitted that they had lost a deal because of a misunderstanding over the phone as they couldn't hear what was being said.

HD Voice also opens up new opportunities for better ways of working in business. In addition to benefitting industries with significant background noise like construction and manufacturing, the arrival of HD Voice is hotly anticipated by the broadcasting industry, which believes that the service could reduce both its reliance on expensive ISDN lines and the need to ferry guests to studios for interviews.

The BBC is trialling the solution as a low cost alternative to the traditional methods of live contribution for both its reporters and potentially for guests and to improve the sound quality for breaking news reports which will often be done using a mobile phone.

Robert Ayres, Raycox Turf, said, "Having trialled HD Voice for a number of weeks, I was impressed by the difference it made to my phone calls. The ability to have a faultless call experience regardless of where I was made important business conversations that much easier and meant I didn't have to worry about being in a quiet space to make any calls."

Martin Stiven, VP of Business at Everything Everywhere, the company which runs Orange UK, said: "HD Voice is going to change the way businesses are able to communicate through our business mobiles from conducting calls in places that were not previously possible to the ability to hear emotions in people's voices. We're about bringing people closer together and HD Voice does just that, making business colleagues feel as if they're speaking face to face. People are going to love the clarity of calls and the lack of background noise. Once you've used it, you will want to keep it."

HD Voice for business is now available on the Nokia E5 and the Samsung Omnia Pro B7350 handsets with more HD enabled handsets to follow in the coming months.

For more information on HD Voice for business please visit: www.orange.co.uk/business/hdvoice

Story Highlights
* Hearing is believing: business conversations on the move and in noisy environments just got easier with crystal clear calls
* 75% of business owners stated clear call quality to be the most important functionality of their mobile device
* 33% of business owners say they constantly struggle to hold phone conversations in noisy environments

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Notes to editors
*Research conducted by Redshift between 13/08/2010 and 18/08/2010. Sample: 1,000 business owners.

HD Voice runs on the 3G network and uses the WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) speech codec. This provides excellent audio quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 507000 Hz compared to the current narrowband speech codec of 3003400 Hz. The WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) delivers significantly enhanced sound quality while utilising the same network resources.

About Orange UK
Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators. With 183.3 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates.

In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population, and 3G coverage to more than 93%. At the end of March 2010, Orange had more than 17.31 million customers in the UK 16.442 million active mobile customers and approximately 863,000 fixed line internet customers.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited.