Wideband audio

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"HD Voice" redirects here. For brand name used by telecommunication companies in South Korea for voice call method through LTE, see VoLTE.

Wideband audio, also known as HD voice, is high definition voice quality for telephony audio, contrasted with standard digital telephony "toll quality". It extends the frequency range of audio signals transmitted over telephone lines, resulting in higher quality speech. The range of the human voice extends from 80 Hz to 14 kHz but traditional, voiceband or narrowband telephone calls limit audio frequencies to the range of 300 Hz to 3.4 kHz. Wideband audio relaxes the bandwidth limitation and transmits in the audio frequency range of 50 Hz to 7 kHz or higher.


In 1987, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standardized a version of wideband audio as G.722. Radio broadcasters began using G.722 over Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) to provide high-quality audio for remote broadcasts, such as from sports venues. AMR-WB (G.722.2) was developed by Nokia and VoiceAge and it was first specified by 3GPP.

The traditional telephone network (PSTN) is generally limited to narrowband audio by the intrinsic nature of its transmission technology, TDM (time-division multiplexing), and by the analogue-to-digital converters used at the edge of the network, as well as the speakers, microphones and other elements in the endpoints themselves.

Wideband audio has been broadly deployed in conjunction with videoconferencing. Providers of this technology quickly discovered that despite the explicit emphasis on video transmission, the quality of the participant experience was significantly influenced by the fidelity of the associated audio signal.

Communications via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can readily employ wideband audio. When PC-to-PC calls are placed via VoIP services, such as Skype, and the participants use a high-quality headset, the resulting call quality can be noticeably superior to conventional PSTN calls. Some of the handsets manufactured by Nokia which run S60 and Series40 OS that support VoIP also support wideband audio.[1] A number of audio codecs have emerged to support these services, supplementing G.722.

Manufacturers of audio conferencing equipment have introduced wideband-capable models that include support for G.722 over VoIP.

Conference calls are a direct beneficiary of the enhancements offered by wideband audio. Participants often struggle to figure out who is talking, or to understand accented speakers. Misunderstandings are commonplace due primarily to generally poor audio quality and an accumulation of background noise.

Some listener benefits cited of wideband audio compared to traditional (narrowband):

  • clearer overall sound quality
  • easier to recognize voices, distinguish confusing sounds and understand accented speakers
  • ease of deciphering words that have the close sounds of ‘s’ and ‘f’ and others, often indistinguishable over telephone lines
  • ability to hear faint talkers and to understand double-talk (when more than one person is speaking at the same time)
  • reduced listening effort (decreased cognitive load), resulting in increased productivity and lessened listener fatigue
  • better understanding in the face of other impairments, such as when talkers are using a speakerphone or in the presence of background noise

Despite its reputation for poor audio quality, the mobile telephone industry has started to make some progress on wideband audio. The 3GPP standards group has designated G.722.2 as its wideband codec and calls it Advanced Multirate – Wideband (AMR-WB). A few handsets have been produced supporting this codec (for example, HTC, Nokia , Samsung and Sony, and network demonstrations have been conducted.


As business telephone systems have adopted VoIP technology, support for wideband audio has grown rapidly. Telephone sets from Avaya, Cisco, NEC Unified Solutions, Grandstream, Gigaset, Polycom (which brands wideband audio "HD Voice"), Snom, AudioCodes (which brands wideband audio "HDVoIP") and others now incorporate G.722, as well as varying degrees of higher-quality audio components.

Suppliers of integrated circuits for telephony equipment, including DSP Group, Broadcom, Infineon, and Texas Instruments, include wideband audio in their feature portfolios. There are audio conferencing service providers that support wideband connections from these and other VoIP endpoints, while also permitting PSTN participants to join the conference in narrowband. sipXtapi is an open source solution for VoIP media processing engine supporting wideband and HD voice that provides RTP and codecs through a plugin framework for use with SIP and other VoIP protocols. Skype uses an audio codec called Silk which allows for extremely high quality audio.

A number of carriers around the world have rolled out HD voice services based on the G.722 wideband standard. In North America, hosted service providers have recently deployed the Aastra Hi-Q upgrade to its installed user base and as of January 2010 claimed around 70,000 HD voice endpoints. Consumer service provider ooma has an estimated 25,000 HD voice endpoints deployed stemming from its roll out of its second-generation Telo hardware.

After years of trials, AMR-WB was made commercially available in September 2009, when Orange launched the world's first high-definition voice service for mobile phones in Moldova, the first time since the 1990s that mobile voice technologies have been subject to a significant evolution. The first mobile handset integrating high-definition voice capability launched by Orange Moldova is the Nokia 6720c, which integrates WB-AMR. Orange has since rolled out HD voice in the UK, France, Belgium, Romania, Armenia, Dominican Republic and Spain, with Switzerland and Luxembourg due to follow.[2] Moreover Orange has announced that will ensure HD Voice interoperability between Orange countries for both mobile and fixed networks, interoperability with other operators and looking to launch HD Voice over their 2G networks as well, by in 2013/2014.[3]

Operator Country Launch date Note
Orange  Moldova September 2009 [2]
Orange  Armenia February 2010 [2]
Orange  France July 2010 [2]
Orange  United Kingdom September 2010 [2]
SFR  France September 2010 [4]
Orange  Spain September 2010 [2]
Mobistar  Belgium September 2010 [2]
Vipnet  Croatia September 2010 [2]
Tata DoCoMo  India November 2010 [2]
Mobinil  Egypt November 2010 [2]
MegaFon  Russia November 2010 [2] Also on GSM from 27.04.11
Orange  Luxembourg December 2010 [2]
csl.  Hong Kong December 2010 [2]
Turkcell  Turkey January 2011 [2]
TIM  Italy January 2011 [2]
Vodafone  Turkey April 2011 [2]
Orange  Mauritius April 2011 [2]
Orange  Romania May 2011 [2]
3  United Kingdom May 2011 [5]
Orange  Dominican Republic June 2011 [2]
du  United Arab Emirates June 2011 [2]
M-Tel  Bulgaria June 2011 [2]
Telstra  Australia June 2011 [6] World’s largest coverage footprint of HD Voice
A1  Austria July 2011 [7]
Orange  Uganda July 2011 [2]
Wind  Canada July 2011 [2]
T-Mobile  Poland August 2011 [8] Also on GSM
Orange  Kenya August 2011 [2]
T-Mobile  Austria August 2011 [9]
Mobitel  Slovenia September 2011 [2]
Vip  Serbia September 2011 [2] Also on GSM.
Hrvatski Telekom  Croatia September 2011 [2]
TDC  Denmark September 2011 [10]
Orange   Switzerland October 2011 [11]
T-Mobile  Czech Republic October 2011 [12]
Telekom  Germany November 2011 [13]
3  Austria November 2011 [14]
Si.mobil  Slovenia December 2011 [2]
Bell  Canada January 2012 [15]
Swisscom   Switzerland February 2012 [16]
KPN  Netherlands March 2012 [17]
Celcom  Malaysia April 2012 [2]
Vodafone  Ireland April 2012 [18]
Play  Poland July 2012 [19]
T-Mobile  United Kingdom August 2012 [20]
Orange  Jordan August 2012 [2]
MTS  Russia September 2012 [21]
Telus  Canada September 2012 [2]
Meo  Portugal September 2012 [22]
Rogers  Canada October 2012 [2]
Smart  Philippines October 2012 [2]
Bouygues  France November 2012 [2]
DTAC  Thailand November 2012 [2] On GSM 1800 MHz.
Ooredoo  Qatar November 2012 [2]
3  Denmark December 2012 [23]
Airtel  Nigeria December 2012 [2]
Orange  Israel December 2012 [2]
T-Mobile  United States January 2013 [24]
AXIS  Indonesia January 2013 [2]
DNA  Finland January 2013 [2]
Chunghwa Telecom  Taiwan February 2013 [25]
Orange  Ivory Coast February 2013 [2]
Airtel  Kenya March 2013 [26]
Airtel  Malawi March 2013 [26]
Airtel  Rwanda March 2013 [26]
StarHub  Singapore March 2013 [2]
Telenor  Norway March 2013 [27]
Mobily  Saudi Arabia March 2013 [28]
STC  Saudi Arabia March 2013 [2]
NetCom  Norway April 2013 [2]
Telekom  Romania April 2013 [29][30]
Orange  Slovakia May 2013 [31]
AIS  Thailand May 2013 HD voice available on AWN "AIS 3G 2100" only[citation needed]
Cosmote  Greece June 2013 [32]
Crnogorski Telekom  Montenegro June 2013 [2] Also on GSM.
Vodafone  Australia June 2013 [33]
Magyar Telekom  Hungary July 2013 [34]
Vodafone  Germany July 2013 [2]
BITĖ  Lithuania July 2013 [2]
BITĖ  Latvia August 2013 [2]
Kyivstar  Ukraine August 2013 [2] On GSM.
Telenor  Serbia September 2013 [35] Also on GSM.
Vodafone  New Zealand November 2013 [36]
MTS  Belarus December 2013 [2]
VIVA  Kuwait December 2013 [37]
Orange  Mali January 2014 [2]
2degrees  New Zealand January 2014 [38]
Sonatel  Senegal February 2014 [2]
Telia  Sweden March 2014 [39]
E-Plus  Germany March 2014 [40]
Inwi  Morocco March 2014 [41] Also on GSM
Nawras  Oman March 2014 [42]
Tele2  Sweden March 2014 [2]
VIVA  Bahrain March 2014 [43]
Zain  Bahrain March 2014 [44]
EMT  Estonia April 2014 [45]
Altel  Kazakhstan May 2014 [46] Also on GSM.
Etisalat  Sri Lanka May 2014 [47]
Robi  Bangladesh June 2014 [48]
Vodafone  Netherlands July 2014 [49]
Sunrise   Switzerland July 2014 [50]
Orange  Poland July 2014 [51]
Ooredoo  Myanmar August 2014 [52]
MTN  South Africa August 2014 [53]
Telenor  Denmark September 2014 [54]
Vodafone  United Kingdom September 2014 [55]
  • As of June 2014, GSA a report announces 109 commercial mobile HD Voice networks launched in 73 countries.[2]

Wideband Codec[edit]

Following are wideband codecs used in telecommunication [56]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forum Nokia - VoIP details.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb "Mobile HD Voice: Global Update report". GSA. 2014-06-02. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  3. ^ Next HD Voice moves for Orange.
  4. ^ "Bientôt, la voix haute définition sur votre mobile SFR !". SFR. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  5. ^ "HD Voice calls launched on Three". Hutchison 3. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  6. ^ "Telstra introduces the World’s largest coverage footprint of HD Voice calling". Telstra. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  7. ^ "Österreichpremiere von HD Voice: A1 bringt HD-Qualität für Gespräche am Handy". A1. 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  8. ^ "T-Mobile Poland introduces HD Voice". telecompaper. 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  9. ^ "Movicel launches LTE in Cabinda 45 days ahead of schedule". http://futurezone.at/. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  10. ^ "TDC first to offer HD Voice in Denmark". TDC. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  11. ^ "HD Voice launched nationwide". Orange. 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  12. ^ "T-Mobile Czech Republic launches HD Voice". telecompaper. 2011-10-27. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  13. ^ "Telekom Kunden telefonieren in HD Qualität". Deutsche Telekom. 2011-11-02. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  14. ^ "HD Voice für beste Sprachqualität im 3MegaNetz". Hutchison 3. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  15. ^ "Bell improves call qualiy with HD Voice". Bell Mobility. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  16. ^ "Crystal-clear voice quality on your mobile: Swisscom launches HD Voice". Swisscom. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  17. ^ "KPN stelt HD Voice geluidskwaliteit permanent beschikbaar op netwerk". KPN. 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  18. ^ "Vodafone’s HD Voice offers improved audio quality of calls". Silicon Republic. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  19. ^ "HD Voice w Play – z czym to się je?". Play. 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  20. ^ "T-Mobile – HD Voice Launch". Vison Mobile. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  21. ^ "MTS launches HD-Voice service nationwide". telecompaper. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  22. ^ "Portugal carrier TMN turns up mobile HD voice–including iPhone 5". http://hdvoicenews.com/. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  23. ^ "3’s kunder får klar tale på mobilen med HD Voice". Hutchison 3. 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  24. ^ "T-Mobile Network Advancements Enrich Customer Experience with Nationwide HD Voice and Enhanced 4G Coverage in New Metro Areas". T-Mobile US. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  25. ^ "Chunghwa Telecom launches 3G HD Voice services". DigiTimes. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  26. ^ a b c "Airtel rolls out mobile HD voice service in Africa". StarAfrica.com. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  27. ^ "Telenor brings excellent sound to its mobile network in Norway". Telenor. 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  28. ^ "HD Voice launch". Mobily. 2013-03-25. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  29. ^ "HD Voice at Cosmote Romania". Cosmote Romania. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  30. ^ "RomTelecom, Cosmote rebrand as Telekom Romania next month". TeleGeography. 2014-08-15. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  31. ^ "HD Voice arrives in Slovakia". Orange Slovakia. 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  32. ^ "High definition communication exclusively for COSMOTE customers". Cosmote. 2013-06-11. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  33. ^ "Vodafone introduce HD voice calling". Vodafone Australia. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  34. ^ "From today on you may enjoy HD quality mobile voice at Telekom". Magyar Telekom. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  35. ^ "HD Voice in Telenor Smart Network". Telenor Serbia. 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  36. ^ "High Definition Voice Calling". Vodafone New Zealand. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  37. ^ "superior network voice capabilities". VIVA Kuwait. 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  38. ^ "HD voice arrives in New Zealand". HD Voice News. 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  39. ^ "Telia Sweden launches HD Voice service". Telecompaper. 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  40. ^ "Jetzt auch im E-Plus-Netz: HD Voice sorgt für besseren Sprachklang" (in German). teltarif.de. 2014-03-12. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  41. ^ "Inwi lance la technologie HD Voice" (in French). inwi.ma. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  42. ^ "Nawras launches HD voice network in Oman". Telecompaper. 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  43. ^ "Viva Bahrain launches HD voice". Telecompaper. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  44. ^ "Bahrain gets HD voice". HD Voice News. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  45. ^ "EMT võrgus saab teha kõrgekvaliteedilisi HD-kõnesid". EMT. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  46. ^ "Altel launches LTE/GSM/UMTS network". Telecompaper. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  47. ^ "Sri Lanka Gets HD voice via Etisalat". HD Voice News. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  48. ^ "Robi launches HD voice service". Telecompaper. 2014-06-23. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  49. ^ "Vodafone-activeert-hd-voice-op-hele-3g-netwerk". Tweakers.net. 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2014-07-02. 
  50. ^ "Sunrise lance enfin la HD Voice!" (in French). Scal.ch. 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  51. ^ "Połączenia telefoniczne wysokiej jakości – Voice HD w Orange" (in Polish). orange.pl. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  52. ^ "Ooredoo Goes Live In Myanmar". Ooredoo. 2014-08-03. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  53. ^ "MTN South Africa launches HD voice". Telecompaper. 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  54. ^ "Telenor Denmark activates HD voice across 3G network". Telecompaper. 2014-08-02. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  55. ^ "Vodafone UK introduces HD voice calls, part of £1B investment". GSMArena. 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  56. ^ "Which wideband codec to choose?". TMCnet. Retrieved 2012-11-13. [dead link]

External links[edit]