Orange Moldova has today announced the launch of the world's first mobile telephone service offering high-definition (HD) sound. The service is claimed to provide customers with a significantly improved quality of service when making calls.
The launch is said to be the second step in Orange's HD voice strategy, following on from the launch of a high-definition voice service for VoIP calls in 2006. Over 500,000 Livephone devices have already been sold in France and the range will be extended to other Orange countries over the coming months.
The first mobile handset integrating high-definition voice capability that will be launched by Orange Moldova is the Nokia 6720c. The handset integrates the new WB-AMR technology, which is said to be widely expected within the industry to become a new standard for mobile voice communications.
According to Orange Moldova, customers using the device will benefit from the best possible sound quality allowing for a much richer and natural sound that is capable of conveying emotion significantly better than an ordinary handset. Background noise is also faded out to provide clearer voice conversations creating a feeling of proximity between both parties. Market research suggests that 72% of customers would want their next mobile handset to be compatible with HD voice, and 50% of VoIP customers are willing to switch operator to get an improved voice quality service.
"High-definition voice is clearly the future standard for mobile communications and is set to vastly improve user experience over the coming years," said Yves Tyrode, Executive Vice President of the Orange Technocentre. "We are very happy to be able to bring this technology to our customers in Moldova, who will be the first in the world to be able to enjoy such a service."
Liudmila Climoc, CEO of Orange Moldova, added: "We are very proud to bring this world premier to Moldova, clearly demonstrating the potential of the Moldovan market. Our teams have worked very hard, in collaboration with the Orange group's teams across the world, to develop the advanced technology that makes this service possible. In addition, the high quality of our 3G network - which already offers coverage for 63% of the population and was recently upgraded to allow for speeds of up to 14.4 Mb/sec - enabled Orange to launch this premium service in Moldova. It is through the launch of innovative new services such as this that Orange is reaffirming its commitment to quality and investment in the future of Moldova."
Orange says it plans to rapidly extend the range of HD voice-compatible mobile handsets across Europe. The Group plans to introduce HD voice services to the UK and Belgium markets by the end of 2010 and believes that the handsets will represent the majority of the 3G handsets sold within five years. At the same time, Orange will also continue its plans to roll out HD VoIP in other European markets such as Poland and Spain.