updated 10:13 pm EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
Move part of further LTE initiatives by carrier, including protocol improvements
On Monday at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit in California, AT&T Senior Vice President Kris Rinne reported that the carrier would activate HD Voice on its network later in 2013, calling it "part of our voice over LTE strategy." Also in the interview, the executive described previous call quality concerns as "off the table," and mostly resolved.
The feature to support HD Voice in the iPhone was revealed at the iPhone 5 announcement, and implemented in March by T-Mobile as part of its iPhone 5 rollout. The technology requires both network and device support, which gives voice calls more bandwidth and tonal range so that they sound better. The iPhone 5 that AT&T carries has support for the feature, calling it Wideband Audio, but it is currently not enabled on the network.
Rinne also noted that "advanced LTE" was in progress, adding interference reduction improvements, and other improvements. Furthermore, Rinne claims that competing text-messaging services such as offerings from Facebook and Apple's iMessage were welcome on the AT&T network, and that extensive developer support exists for the features.