updated 12:52 pm EDT, Mon October 22, 2012
HD Voice service now possible between callers in Romania, Moldova
UK-based wireless provider Orange has began offering its HD Voice data calling service to callers located in different countries. Thus far, however, only callers located in Romania and Moldova on Orange's network (or a branded carrier that uses Orange's network) can enjoy the clearer conversations thanks to a speech transmission format known as Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate (WB-AMR). Still, Orange calls this feat an important technical breakthrough.
When callers in other countries can expect the same benefits remains to be seen, though it's likely to happen on a case-by-case basis.
Moldova and Romania are bordering countries, with cultural and language similarities.
Orange offers the HD Voice service in 14 countries, claiming nearly four million customers switched to it, compared to about one million users a year ago. The carrier hopes to make HD Voice a standard by 2013. It requires special handsets in addition to a specialized network. Nearly 80 phones from 10 manufacturers support the standard.
The WB-AMR format allocates multiple times more bandwidth to a call than normal 3G voice without increasing the amount of data used.