StarHub to launch HD Voice in Singapore

StarHub to launch HD Voice in Singapore

Summary: Telco will be first in country to introduce the service, aimed at delivering local calls with higher quality sound.

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StarHub has become Singapore's first telco to launch high definition (HD) Voice, aimed at delivering local calls with higher quality sound. The technology improves speech clarity and reduces background noise, significantly enhancing customers' mobile call experience.

"Just like how HD video technology presents consumers with an immersive visual experience with sharper images and vibrant colours, HD Voice will significantly enhance our customers’ voice call experience, especially in noisy environments," said Chan Kin Hung, senior vice president of personal solutions at StarHub, in a statement Sunday.

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StarHub to launch HD Voice on March 7, 2013.

The HD Voice service will be automatically switched on from Thursday, at no additional charge and does not utilize any mobile data, according to the telco.

To enjoy the benefits of HD Voice calls, both the calling and receiving parties need to be subscribers of StarHub’s new SmartSurf plans. The feature will be progressively enabled for other plans by the third quarter of 2013.

Users will also need handsets that support the technology which includes Samsung's Galaxy S3 LTE, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE, Apple iPhone 5, BlackBerry Z10, LG Optimus G, and Sony Xperia Z.

StarHub noted with a growing number of mobile operators committed to rolling out HD Voice commercially, customers will be able to make high-quality international mobile calls on their HD Voice handset in the near future.

Telcos can expect to monetize the clearer calls through a few ways, as HD voice calls typically last longer and drives up both data and international call minutes usage, said network giant BT in an earlier report.

Last month, StarHub and SingTel also revealed plans to take on OTT services such as WhatsApp and Viber, with their own messenging platforms.

Topics: Telcos, 4G, Networking, Singapore

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Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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