AT&T First to Market With HD Voice

The second-largest wireless carrier in the United States, AT&T, is on the cusp of rolling out what could mark a strategic differentiator: high definition (HD) voice. The telecom giant is tapping its all-IP Voice Over LTE, or VoLTE, network as it brings its HD Voice to select markets.

HD voice is a wideband technology. Historically, voice calls have been transmitted on a limited frequency of 300 Hz to 3.4 Hz. HD Voice greatly expands that range from 50 Hz to 7 Hz -- and even higher -- to bring high definition calling to the handset.

With its rollout, AT&T is making a bold promise: Customers donEUt have to choose between faster data speeds and clear voice quality. HD Voice promises to let you talk while surfing the Web at 4G LTE speeds with no compromise.

AT&T Gets Out First

We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his take on ATTEUs HD Voice service rollout. He told us the announcement marks the beginning of what so many have been anxiously anticipating.

EUWe are expecting all the majors to offer this service sooner or later. AT&T appears to be the first to market,EU Kagan said. EUHigh definition voice will be very important going forward on all-IP, Voice Over LTE. It lets customers talk and surf the Web at high speeds at the same time over an Internet or IP network.EU

The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini will be the first device to include HD Voice capabilities. AT&T promised to serve the much-anticipated technology to other devices soon.

In terms of markets, HD Voice from AT&T will initially be available in select areas in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin on May 23. The company plans to continue expanding on a market-by-market basis. Verizon Wireless plans to roll out HD Voice sometime this year.

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