High-definition (HD) voice services are now available from 116 mobile operators in 75 countries, according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). The number of mobile operators now offering HD voice services has grown 30 percent year-over-year, GSA reports in the latest issue of the Mobile HD voice: Global Update report.

In addition to enabling high-quality HD voice communications over mobile networks, the use of Adaptive Multi Rate Wideband (W-AMR) technology delivers an “improved user experience for calls between mobile phones supporting the feature,” GSA explains in a press release.

Seventy-one mobile operators are investing in VoLTE studies, trials or deployments, according to GSA. That includes 11 that have launched commercial HD voice services. GSA forecasts that number will increase and reach 19 by year-end 2014, then double in 2015.

Mobile HD Voice Deployments
Elaborating on the status of HD services among mobile operators, GSA President Alan Hadden commented, “Twenty-nine countries have at least two mobile HD voice operators. Interconnection between competing networks for end-to-end HD voice calling is a priority.”

In terms of mobile handsets, GSA confirmed that 92 smartphones (including carrier and frequency variants) support VoLTE. That includes products by Asus, Huawei, LG, Pantech, Samsung and Sony Mobile, as well as the new Apple iPhone 6 & 6 Plus models. GSA intends to publish an HD voice devices status update report that includes VoLTE products later this month.

GSA provides a breakdown of the radio access network technologies being used by mobile operators to deliver HD voice services:

  • 95 HD voice operators use 3G/HSPA-only
  • 9 HD voice operators use LTE-only with VoLTE
  • 2 HD voice operators use GSM-only
  • 8 HD voice operators use GSM and HSPA networks
  • 2 HD voice operators use HSPA and LTE networks with VoLTE
  • 116 Total mobile HD voice operators.

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