skip to Main Content

Daniel Berninger Samples AT&T’s Mobile HDVoice in Chicago

Samsung S4 Mini 300pxHere in the US the mobile carriers are finally getting something done with respect to rolling out HDVoice. T-Mobile has been offering HDVoice since January of 2013. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been able to try this myself using a Nexus 5. They added a little sport to the game by launching VoLTE in Seattle earlier this month.

Sprint is trialing HDVoice in limited markets pending a national rollout in June.  AT&T has launched VoLTE/HDVoice in some mid-western markets. Verizon must be feeling laggard as they recently started some PR/social media hand-waving with respect to their VoLTE/HDVoice initiative.

Telecom visionary and huge HDVoice proponent Daniel Berninger of VCXC went to Chicago to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and sample AT&T’s newly minted VoLTE. In the process he recorded this short video that’s a decent illustration of the difference between narrowband and HDVoice.



It’s nice that this video, profiling HDVoice, is itself is in an HD video format. In truth, HD video has been a lot easier to access that mobile HDVoice. Perhaps that is finally changing, at least a little.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Now if his recording was such that one would hear the call in “stereo”; i.e. on my headset I only hear him in the right ear.

    The difference between HD video and HD voice is that HD video goes over-the-top and not through a carrier network (it’s basically peer-to-peer unless there is a HD video server supporting it) – only other requirement is to have a HD webcam. As for voice over carrier .. well it means the carrier needs to put in the infrastructure to maintain HD voice between end points and the end points themselves have to support HD voice (which is why it’s limited at the moment to only a few phone models).

    I did have one of those monstrous Motorola cell phones in 1986. My boss, visiting from Los Angeles, was amazed that he could make a call to Finland while we were driving along Toronto’s main freeway – the 401. (I don’t recall the cost and it was reimbursed.)

    1. Actually, the difference between HDVoice and HD video is that the telcos co-opted video as a new way to add value to their networks. All the standards were established elsewhere. They had motivation to allow it’s use as they saw the potential for new revenues from the effort.

      They were pitching the use of video at the very same time that they were decrying the “spectral inefficiency” of HDVoice. That is, “we want you to watch TV or video chat, but we don’t have the bandwidth to offer better voice calls.” In reality, they didn’t see any new revenue source so they simply weren’t interested.

      According to GSA there are currently 329 models of phones that support HDVoice by way of W-AMR. That include many models that support it over HSPA and a handful over LTE. Some carriers like T-Mobile have enabled HDVoice over 3.5G HSPA/HSPA+ while AT&T held out for their VoLTE rollout. As usual Sprint is doing their own thing entirely with EVRC-NW over its CDMA network.

      The carrier must allow each model to use that codec on their network. They pick and choose which models they want to use HDVoice. This is why, on T-Mobile, my Nexus 4 doesn’t offer it, but my wife’s Nexus 5 does. Both phones are capable…the operator decides.

      There are admittedly fewer LTE capable models at the moment, but the HDVoice is not inherently bound to LTE. Most of the 100+ HDVoice capable mobile networks that GSA lists are HSPA networks.

Comments are closed.

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: