Orange trials HD calling

New service spells end of crackling conversations

Orange to be the first UK network to offer HD calls.

The service, called "Orange HD Voice", is in its final testing stage and will roll out to UK Orange customers by the end of the summer, according to an announcement on the Orange newsroom.

The upgrade will supposedly bring an end to crackly, distorted calls, leaving the caller's voice sounding clearer and more natural and less like a malfunctioning 60's robot - without any extra cost or bandwidth usage for the consumer. For Orange's comparison, watch their YouTube video.

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Orange say that the service will initially be available only on a small range of 3G enabled handsets, but that they're "pretty confident" that the range of handsets that will get HD voice will grow quickly.

The service is currently being tested in Reading, Southampton and Bristol, and as yet there's no word on which handsets will work with HD Voice, or whether or not both handsets on a call will need to be HD/3G enabled for the service to work properly - although with a late summer launch we won't have to wait long to find out.