For Customers’ Sake

Andre Beyers
Andre Beyers

Airtel rolls out mobile HD voice service in Africa. The voice service will enable customers on its network to hear better in noisy environments

|  By Maureen Chigbo  |  Mar. 18, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

AIRTEL customers on 3G networks will now experience a significant improvement in their voice communications. This will be possible with the aid of a HD mobile service recently launched to enable the customers to hear better in noisy environments. Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, rolled out the service in March, for its subscribers in Africa.

The development comes as the first step in Airtel’s ambition to make mobile HD voice accessible in all its operations across the continent. Mobile HD voice enables high-quality voice calls because it reduces background noise often heard on a regular call. To enjoy the maximum benefits of this new technology, both the calling and the called parties need an HD-Voice compatible mobile phone. However, improvements in call quality are also perceived when using an HD voice-enabled phone to call a non-HD Voice phone.

Mobile HD Voice based on AMR (Adaptive Multi Rate) Wideband technology (W-AMR) operates with nine different bit rates, providing high-quality voice calls. Compared to the current narrowband speech codec, the W-AMR speech-compression algorithm doubles voice bandwidth and produces better results. After years of trials, HD Voice services were launched in 2009 and they are now available in 35 countries around the world.

According to Airtel, the results of a recent survey shows that 96 percent of customers are satisfied with HD Voice calls, hence the rapid pace of commercialisation of the services across the globe.

Airtel becomes the third operator to launch a mobile HD voice service in Africa. The telecommunications company aims to make HD voice a reality on the continent. Further launches will be scheduled in 2013. HD voice is the most significant improvement in voice communications in the past two decades. Mobile HD voice offers crystal clear audio quality and will enhance user experience on Airtel mobile networks. “Surveys confirm that customers place a high value on HD Voice”, said Andre Beyers, chief marketing officer, Airtel Africa. “The new service will enrich end-user experience for Airtel subscribers”.

Bharti Airtel Limited, headquartered in New Delhi, India, ranks amongst the top four mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 262 million customers across its operations at the end of January 2013.

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