Sprint announced a HD voice handset – the HTC Evo – last week, the first time the technology has gotten any real attention in the US, especially from mainstream media outlets like Time and Consumer Reports.
Plus, ABI Research predicts that both Verizon and MetroPCS will soon bring HD voice (and VoLTE) handsets to market as well, as most US operators will apparently tie HD voice rollout tightly to the introduction of VoLTE.
So is HD voice finally taking off in the US, where it has lagged? Jim Eller at ABI thinks so:
“The demand for HD Voice in VoLTE phones will provide the critical mass necessary to encourage the device manufacturers to produce large quantities of phone models with HD Voice, which should lead to widespread adoption.”
We asked this same question on Twitter and got this (cleaned up) response from HD Voice guru Doug Mohney of HD Voice News:
“2012 year of HD voice? For North America, maybe 2013. Europe's year of HD voice is now.”
And lest we forget why HD voice has the potential to add such value to operator offerings, here is a 2011 clip from Orange, a pioneer that rolled out HD voice in the UK way back in 2010 and currently runs about one-third of all HD voice networks: