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Calls with iPhone 5 HD audio will only be supported by European operators

One of the possibilities offered by iPhone 5 is the ability to enjoy high quality sound on calls and video calls thanks to the use of broadband. This will be possible in Europe, but not in the United States, where the phone’s home country and networks do not support this feature. The only possibilities they have at the moment are not compatible with the Apple smartphone, so they will hardly be able to benefit from this improvement

One of the features of the iPhone 5 highlighted by Phil Schiller in the presentation was the use of broadband audio . With this system we get a clear and sharp sound, with an HD quality. This is a generic term that refers to technologies that improve the audio quality of a call, or the audio part of a video call .

Calls with iPhone 5 HD audio will only be supported by European operators
Calls with iPhone 5 HD audio will only be supported by European operators

To be able to conduct conversations that support this quality, a specific type of network or system must be used. In the plans for the presentation it was stated which telephone operators would support this type of network . Recall that in Spain, although still in its infancy, will be Orange, Movistar, and presumably Vodafone that will have LTE networks.

In Europe, HD quality audio will be supported, while in the United States it will not be . According to Phone Scoop, Michelle Leff Mermelstein, spokesperson for Sprint, one of the US operators that will distribute the iPhone 5, has confirmed that the new smartphone will not support broadband audio due to the system they use in their networks . And we can spin even thinner and say that the networks in the United States will not be able to support this HD quality sound at all. To be able to make calls with this sound quality there are three possibilities :

First use a new type of codec called AMR-WB for calls over a 3G network, something that in the United States only AT&T could do , as it is the only one with GSM type networks. However, it is not clear whether it would be compatible with the iPhone 5.

The second method is to use a new codec , called EVRC-NW, on an advanced 2G CDMA 1x network. This system allows companies to convert some of the spectrum they use in their 2G networks to new 4G networks. This is the path that the Sprint operator intends to take and with which however the iPhone 5 is not compatible.

The third method involves a total switch of voice calls from old 2G networks to new 4G networks , something called VoLTE ( voice-over-LTE .) VoLTE basically uses the same codec as the one used in the GSM networks, the so called AMR-WB, but in a totally different transmission format. This possibility is being carried out by Verizon , the other operator involved, which the iPhone does not support either, as well as the other options.

We found that, since is one of the star features, it is likely that they will not be able to enjoy it in the country of origin of the iPhone 5 . In Europe the situation is different , because in Spain Orange and Vodafone do offer calls in HD quality through the 3G network. However, the presence of LTE networks is practically anecdotal, mainly due to their poor, if not non-existent, coverage. In our case, it is stated that the LTE network will be operational and functional by 2014, but given the current situation, this period is not to be trusted.

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