updated 08:33 am EDT, Wed March 26, 2014
High-quality voice calls heading to Sprint subscribers this summer
Sprint will be launching its delayed HD Voice on compatible smartphones in the majority of markets across the United States this summer, the head of the carrier has revealed. CEO Dan Hesse revealed during a keynote talk at Oracle Industry Connect that the high-quality voice service will roll out for subscribers throughout the country "around the first of July."
"Some of you may have experienced [HD Voice], we've launched in a few markets," said Hesse according to LightReading, continuing "Voice is still the killer app." HD Voice operates using the Adapted Multi-Rate Wide Band (AMR-WB) codec, which uses double the transmission bandwidth of a 3G call. The codec also allows for a far wider speech bandwidth, offering 50-,7,000Hz instead of 3G's 300-2,400Hz, something which could improve the voice quality of the call by up to 40 percent.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse
As part of the same presentation, Hesse took the time to outline its Spark network plans. The 2.5GHz spectrum it received from Clearwire will be used primarily to offer capacity and speed for LTE service, with the 1.9GHz 4G spectrum set to gain more coverage and capacity, while the 800MHz LTE will be Used to increase the coverage area further.
By adding carrier aggregation into the mix, Hesse suggests it could allow Sprint to offer customers a total of 120MHz of spectrum to use in some markets in the second half of 2015. "That's two big channels of 60MHz. We're talking 18 months away," claimed the CEO. To customers, this could lead to an increase in download speeds to between 150Mbps and 180Mbps.