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Sprint CEO Dan Hesse
"Voice is still the killer app" -- Sprint CEO Dan Hesse

Sprint has been offering what it calls HD Voice in a few markets around the country. HD Voice service promises to significantly improve call quality since it supports seven octaves of the human voice while normal voice calls can only support four. That means you can hear more of the nuances of your conversations just as you would if you were in the same room.
 
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was recently at the Oracle Industry Connect Conference where he delivered a keynote speech. During his speech, he confirmed that Sprint would be rolling out its HD voice service nationwide starting in July.
 
"Some of you may have experienced [HD Voice], we've launched in a few markets," said Hesse. "We'll launch the entire country around the first of July."
 
Hesse also talked about his company's plans for Spark LTE service at the conference. He said that Sprint could get more range out of its 2.5GHz LTE TDD spectrum using eight transmitters and eight receivers in one box. Hesse also said that combing that tech with carrier aggregation could give Sprint 120MHz of spectrum in the second half of 2015.
 
"That's two big channels of 60MHz," he added. "We're talking 18 months away."
 
Once that update is applied, Hesse thinks that download speeds for devices could be in 150 to 180 Mbps range. 

Source: LightReading



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LTE
By DanNeely on 3/26/2014 10:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't HD voice LTE only? If so, does this mean Sprint's going to be deploying lots of the LTE they've been promising over the next few months or does nationwide mean "only in a few more areas"?




RE: LTE
By retrospooty on 3/26/2014 10:55:53 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno, it seems to me they are concentrating on the wrong area. Voice is becoming less and less important. As time goes by, that trend is only accelerating. Voice is fine if connectivity is good. It's only an issue if it's breaking up due to bad connection.


RE: LTE
By Cstefan on 3/26/2014 12:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
They need to work on making the service work indoors. I have 4/5 LTE bars outside, and have to use a GD Airrave indoors. It's been the same across devices, 3G, WiMax, LTE, and different houses and buildings. I say this as I pay another 150 dollar bill for two phones that don't work indoors.


RE: LTE
By augiem on 3/26/2014 2:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
No, they need to get off their butts and roll out LTE already in areas that have had LTE from the competitors for YEARS upon YEARS. Did you know 95% of San Francisco still has no Sprint LTE? Only the Marina district has it in the entire city. Yet my friend who has gone through 3 generations of smart phones with Sprint over the last 4 years has had to pay their $10/mo surcharge for 4G phones and has NEVER got 4G service. SF is only 7x7 miles and they can't see fit to upgrade their tower here. It's unbelievable.


RE: LTE
By Shig on 3/26/2014 2:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
If you picked Sprint in San Francisco that's your own fault. Five minutes of research would have told you that's a death sentence.


RE: LTE
By Samus on 3/28/2014 2:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
The problem Sprint has expanding isn't something they have control over. They've used Huawei equipment since their WiMax rollout in 2008-2009, and with various FTC and import restrictions on Huawei routers, antennas, amplifiers, and so on for the last few years, Sprint has been forced into using a mish-mosh of various equipment.

The problems with this are obvious: varying standards, signal strength, energy efficiency, technician training, FCC requirements, and so on.

T-Mobile has been able to standardize their rollout very efficiently with Fujitsu-Siemens equipment licensed through Global Signal and Crown Castle, as has Verizon and AT&T who both use Cisco equipment licensed through Crown Castle and American Tower.

Sprint just picked the wrong partners, and being in contract, can't exactly change things up.


RE: LTE
By Motoman on 3/26/2014 2:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. Good enough is good enough for voice quality...there's not really any value to "HD" voice service. It's not like you're trying to audition for an opera over a cellphone.

My guess is that Sprint did this because they can't think of anything else to do to try to differentiate themselves. They're gonna find out real quick how utterly irrelevant "HD" voice is. When it fails to make any difference at all in their user base.


RE: LTE
By Solandri on 3/26/2014 4:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on the call. The higher frequencies are usually dropped because they eat up your bandwidth (each additional higher octave doubles your bandwidth) for not much gain from the standpoint of understanding speech. But background noise tends to be lower frequency, and the higher frequencies can help cut through that and make it easier to understand what was said (one of the reasons most GPS voices are female).

Also, the codec is a GSM standard. T-Mobile already has it, and nearly all of the newer phones support it (both phones/carriers in a call have to support it for it to work). Regular phone codecs encode the 300Hz - 3.4 kHz frequencies. HD codecs encode from 50 Hz - 7 kHz (that is, only one of the extra "octaves" is act the high end, the other three are at the low end). For reference, human hearing spans from about 20 Hz-20 khz. About 20 Hz-14 khz for older people.

If you've played with the HD codecs on VoIP systems, they're nice. The difference is not earth-shattering, but it's quite obvious and a nice perk. Given how much bandwidth has increased since the 1990s (when digital cell phones first rolled out), it's about time we upgraded the bandwidth for voice calls.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkXX5JcML54


RE: LTE
By Motoman on 3/26/2014 4:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure it sounds "better" - I'm saying it's not going to change someone's mind from buying, say, a Verizon phone to getting a Sprint phone instead.

The chance that anyone's going to care enough to make a difference in their buying decision is pretty much zero.


RE: LTE
By drycrust3 on 3/26/2014 12:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Isn't HD voice LTE only?

Not necessarily, it could be using the data channel, not the voice channel, and it probably uses some form of compression such as MP3 (although maybe not MP3, as they would have to pay a licence fee for that). If they did it that way then it would work on almost any hardware that supports a decent bit rate.


By Tuckerlaw1 on 3/26/2014 5:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
I left Sprint after over twenty years because they failed to complete LTE service in Miami and their 3G service rarely works..pretty crazy of them to expect to move forward with another technology...all of my friends have also left Sprint




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