EE has become the UK’s first mobile network to introduce a new level of voice calls in HD.
The upgrade is called ‘Enhanced HD Voice’ and will be available first to the Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
More smartphones will be enabled to work with Enhanced HD Voice over the coming months.
The technology improves the sound quality of phone calls for 4G or WiFi calling far beyond standard calls, EE said.
It will also provide more stable connections even than its last upgrade, HD Voice.
EE’s 4G network now covers 85% of the UK.
Max Taylor, MD of Marketing at EE, said: “We launch the very latest technologies so that EE customers get the best performance on the latest smartphones.
We already have 4G in more places than any other UK operator, and we have the fastest 4G speeds for streaming, downloading and sharing. Now we’re launching Enhanced HD Voice so that calls are of the highest quality and the most reliable they’ve ever been.”
The technical bits
Enhanced HD Voice is available on EE’s IMS (IP Multimedia subsystem) based services, including 4G Calling (VoLTE) and WiFi calling.
EE has upgraded its IMS platform to support the latest 3GPP voice codec to get the best possible voice performance from the latest devices.
EE’s 4G Calling technology, available on every 4G site, is now used by more than five million customers making more than 300 million high quality calls every month.
Faster, better, stronger
More quality and faster data speeds for video and internet is being driven by ever more advanced waves of smartphones hitting the UK market.
EE has also been refashioning parts of its old 2G spectrum to open up more data speed on 4G.
EE sites across the country are being upgraded to support the latest ‘Cat 12’ smartphones, like the Google Pixel XL, Huawei P10 and Xiomi Mi5 that can support data transfer speeds of 600Mbits per second.
Previously the fastest data rate possible on a smartphone was 450Mbits per second.
EE has taken 600 sites across 60 towns and cities to 4G+, demoing live download speeds of 429Mbps in a recent test in Cardiff and London.
Between now and April 2018 Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh are the next focus for engineers to upgrade sites with the latest 4G spectrum.