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Rogers/Fido Now Supports HD Voice Calling on the iPhone 5 [Update]

The iPhone 5 supports HD Voice, a feature that results in increased call clarity. We previously told you it was only available on the Bell and Telus LTE network, with Rogers noting it would be coming soon. The latter has now confirmed HD Voice is up and running on their network with us:

Rogers Network is capable of supporting HD Voice for devices that are HD voice compliant. Customers with handsets that support HD voice will experience clearer call quality and enhanced suppression of background noise. This feature is only available between two 3G/4G handsets on our network that are both HD voice compliant.

The statement doesn’t specifically mention the iPhone 5, but we can read between the lines. Our readers have also recently noticed increased call clarity lately on the Rogers/Fido network:

An older Globe and Mail article notes WIND Mobile was the first to introduce HD Voice on their network, followed by Bell and Telus (on their shared network). They also describe a bit more about the wideband audio codec:

Call quality is determined by something called a codec, which is the software algorithm responsible for compressing all audio before it travels across the wireless network. Traditionally, carriers have used narrowband audio codecs, which only transmit a small slice – 200-3400Hz – of the audible voice frequency range.

However, Bell, Virgin and WIND are now using what’s called an adaptive multi-rate wideband audio codec – AMR-WB for short, and are branding that HD voice – which expands the frequency range to 50-7000KHz.

[...]

According to a statement from Bell’s spokesman, Jason Laszlo, the company is operating “at the rate of 12.65 kbit/sec which is the most common industry implementation” –which, in theory, means that HD voice customers across Bell, Virgin and WIND should be capable of communication with one another using the wideband codec.

Have you noticed increased call quality thanks to HD Voice on the Rogers/Fido network? It will require both the receiver and caller to be using HD Voice capable phones, such as the iPhone 5.

Update: Here’s the full list of HD Voice capable handsets Rogers listed for us:

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Apple iPhone 5
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc
Nokia X7-00
HTC EVO 3D (PG86310)
HTC Raider (PH39150)
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Sony Ericsson Xperia U
Nokia N8-00
Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro
HTC One S (PJ40110)
Motorola Quench
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
Sony Ericsson Xperia S
Sony Ericsson Pro
Sony LT28i Xperia Ion

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • f1ght3r

    Once again Rogers is late to the game. Going to switch to Bell as soon as I get the chance.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    awesome timming

  • f1ght3r

    Well considering where I live, Edmonton, Rogers only has about a third of my city covered on LTE whereas Bell/Telus have the entire city + surround areas. I honestly think Rogers is only good for the East Coast, mainly Toronto.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    if thats the case i dont blame ya

  • Mistikal777

    Yes i have freaking noticed it and it sounds like autotune i almost took my iphone 5 to apple for exchange. Maybe ‘its because i’m not used to it but i do not like it

  • draz

    Indeed, if coverage is no good on one carrier and better on another. I don’t blame you for switching.

  • draz

    Oh yes I noticed it too! I was talking to my sister who has an iPhone 5 and we both sounded so different and much clearer than previous calls we had.

    Although I did notice a little problem though and it could be related to them switching on HD voice, but not sure. I made several calls and I would hear an echo of myself talking after everything I said. A quick restart fixed the issue though!

  • BrodieTheDog

    What devices are HD voice compatable?

  • draz

    Most of Sony and Nokia’s handsets support HD Voice.
    HTC and Samsung have a few models. I am not sure if the S3 has the capability built in or if it will require a software update from the carriers to enable it, but there are S3’s in other parts of the world with HD Voice enabled.

    So it’s not just the iPhone 5!!! HD Voice has been around for years now.

  • uKnOwWhO

    It’s funny that I can say the same to Bell on LTE being late to the game. I am in Vancouver and Rogers is great for me compare to Bell. Each has different experience I guess.

  • Don

    Um, 50-7000 kHz would be totally useless, noone can even near 50 kHz nevermind 7000 kHz, they MUST mean Hz…

  • http://www.facebook.com/andiroo Andrew Devlin

    Noticed it tonight on a call between two iPhone 5’s. night and day…like a clear Skype call

  • Martin

    I have the same echo problem, but it seems to happen only when someone calls me (only tested it with calls from a landline). Will try a restart and see if it fixes my problem as well.

  • Aslam Nathoo

    What about calls across networks? Will this work between two iPhone 5s where one is on Rogers and the other is on Bell or Virgin or Telus or some other network that supports HD Voice? Can someone test this as I’m on Rogers and I’m still waiting for my iPhone 5 to arrive.

  • ShaolinX

    I’m in Edmonton as well, on Virgin (which piggybacks on the Bell/Telus towers) and I can tell you — the LTE coverage remains quite poor, even being in right in the heart of an allegedly widely covered area. Don’t be getting your hopes up too much! Sorry to be a downer.

  • http://twitter.com/adamjefferson Adam Jefferson

    Forget HD voice…how about 4K text messages for iPhone 6! ;)

  • will

    Rogers late ? who had the iPhone first ? Who was the only GSM carrier that we all used our iPhone 2g (AT&T) from NY apple store using GEOHOT hack ?

    Rogers is maybe late on “small thing” but they use the best World Compatible Tech in cellphone since 2001
    Bell switch over GSM because they where the official major Vancouver 2010 partner (imagine every world athlete using ROGERS for roaming) and they wanted the iPhone 3 years late at the party….

    by the way CDMA is crap.

  • rje

    There’s always one guy…

  • f1ght3r

    I agree on the point that CDMA sucks, but Rogers has lost its appeal to me. It doesn’t make sense for me to stay with Rogers when I get better LTE coverage with Bell/Telus. With comparable plans now, and Rogers no longer the exclusive for the iPhone what’s the point?

  • Joel

    I’m getting echo too often. Worse than iPhone 4S
    I’m with Fido

  • f1ght3r

    Thanks for the input, what type of LTE speeds are you getting? Also, is your phone frequently switching to 3G and then back to LTE? I heard this one of the major reasons for less than stellar battery life on the iPhone 5

  • ShaolinX

    When I do get LTE, the increase is noticeable (sorry, haven’t run any speed tests to provide you with hard numbers so this is just anecdotal). And yes, I find the iPhone 5 switches between the two often. It does take a hit on battery life but because of some significant efficiency gains internally (screen tech, chip + mem architecture, etc) I am finding the battery life is more than acceptable. Hope that helps you a bit. Personally I can’t stand any of the big 3 carriers and their business collusion practices but what choice is there, right? That’s why I bought a factory unlocked phone directly from Apple, even if the illusion of choice is just that…

  • xxxJDxxx

    I’m in the same situation. I’ve been with Rogers for over 10 years but my retention plan expired and they will not renew it. Also Rogers has no LTE in my area and according to their coverage map I’m not in a “coming soon” area. Telus/Bell has LTE operational in my city for awhile now so the choice seems obvious

  • Kevin

    Same here! Anyone else with this problem!

  • Kevin

    Confirmed problem here!