Wideband in the Train

In the past months a number of mobile network operators in Europe have switched-on Wideband-AMR in their 3G networks which offers superior sound quality between two WB-AMR mobiles. On paper the difference is tremendous with the frequency range of around 3 kHz extended to 7 kHz, thus transmitting voice and music much clearer than we know today. But how does one perceive the difference in practice?

A hard environment to test this is for example in a train with background noise and recently I had a WB-AMR call while being just in such a place. In short, the experience was incredible for both parties. While on the train I had no difficulties at all to understand the other end and the voice was crystal clear. The positive impression was reinforced when the call dropped due to a coverage hole and when subsequently re-established in the GSM non WB-AMR network I had to make an effort to understand the other side and crank up the volume. I always thought narrow band AMR was quite o.k. but once you've heard wideband it suddenly doesn't sound so good anymore until after a while you ear adapts to it again. 

4 thoughts on “Wideband in the Train”

  1. yes. very good to hear the difference that WB gives. especially notice it once you end a WB call and he go straight to a NB call. yech.

  2. I used WB-AMR about a year and a half ago and I too was amazed by the sound quality. At least in the UK, only one operator offers it and the handsets that support it are fairly limited. Maybe if the next iPhone supported WB-AMR the story would be different. The other issue (at leat in the UK) is that codec is only available on Orange’s 3G network so then in order to have a WB-AMR call you need two people with WB-AMR capable UEs plus both have to be in 3G coverage.. There is a very good WB-AMR demo here if people are curious as to what it sounds like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkXX5JcML54&feature=player_embedded

  3. I am a newbie and may be my question seems silly. But how can I check which codec is in use n my mobile i mean AMR FR/ GSM FR or HR

  4. This is a brilliant idea for speech improvement in mobile phones. You can clearly hear the person on the other end, even if you’re inside a train. I bet it also works for music. This speech coding system should be put on all mobile phones.

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