During today’s unveiling of the HTC Evo 4G LTE, Sprint outed its upcoming HD voice service. HD voice is exactly what it sounds like… better audio quality during phone calls with background noise reduction. The technology has been available for years. It’s essentially what we get when we use VoIP services, and some European networks have been using it for a while.
In true Sprint fashion, they’re not waiting to roll this out with voice over LTE (VoLTE), but rather they are launching it later this year on its 3G network in areas that have already been upgraded to the newer 1X Advanced CDMA standard. Sprint has been in the process of upgrading their entire 3G network to this newer, faster standard as part of its Network Vision strategy.
The HTC Evo 4G LTE (see our hands-on video here) will be the first phone to support HD voice. But there’s a catch.
Sprint says HD voice will launch “late this year“. Well, we know the Evo 4G LTE is going on pre-order in May, so the phone will certainly be available before HD voice rolls out. This means users of the Evo won’t be able to take advantage of the service for a while. For HD voice to work its magic, both phones on a call need to support it, so it won’t be a big loss not having it when the Evo launches. Sprint expects their entire product range to support HD voice in two years time.
Is it starting to feel like the name “Evo” is synonymous with “Early Adopter”? The original Evo 4G launched with WiMax support before Sprint had any sort of comprehensive WiMax network. The Evo 3D is arguably an experimental piece of hardware supporting a cool 3D trick that hasn’t yet seen widespread adoption. And now the Evo 4G LTE will be launching before Sprint’s LTE network is even partially rolled out, and with HD voice capabilities that cannot be used. I guess that’s what it means to be bleeding edge. Personally, I’m excited about the new Evo, just as I was excited about my original Evo, and my 3D after that. Guess I’m a sucker for bleeding edge specs, even if I can’t take full advantage of all of them yet.
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- Hands on with the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint [Video]
- Sprint Fires Up the Pre-Order Reminder Page for the HTC EVO 4G LTE
- 4G LTE And 3G Enhancements Coming To Baltimore And Kansas City Sprint Customers In 2012
- Sprint’s HTC EVO One – A Former Favorite Is Getting A Refresh
- Recent OTA Updates For Sprint’s EVO 4G, EVO Design 4G And Epic 4G Confirms Removal Of Carrier IQ Software
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