After being trialled in Moldova (yes, I had to look it up too), UK carrier Orange has launched HD Voice in the UK today, which uses the AMR-WB codec for higher-quality calls and reduction of background noise.
It's the first time it's been deployed publicly (other than for testing), and is expected to be adopted by other carriers, with William Webb (Head of research and development at Ofcom) saying that it is "relatively easy for an operator to introduce—it's just a software upgrade."
To take advantage of the free HD Voice service, Orange customers must have suitable phones that support the service, with Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung already working on more devices for it, apparently. So far, Nokia's 5230, X6 and E5 models are compatible, along with the Samsung Omnia Pro.
Hmm, it may take a while to catch on with that mere selection of phones. [BBC and The Telegraph]
Image Credit: Malkav