EE enable 'Enhanced HD Voice' calls using 4G

25 September 2017, 16:27   By Helen Mumford

EE have launched their Enhanced HD Voice service, which enables customers to make the "highest quality mobile phone calls ever" on the operator's 4G network.

ee mobile store front
Credit: Electric Egg/

The service has been enabled by an upgrade to EE's network, which had already provided customers with the HD Voice service via 3G.

Yet EE claim that Enhanced HD Voice improves sound quality "far beyond" even its predecessor, which like its replacement requires the caller and receiver to be both on the operator's network.

And while this already limits the scope for its usage to some degree, things are restricted even further by the fact that Enhanced HD Voice will be usable only on the "latest smartphones", such as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.


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EE are no stranger to network upgrades, having begun updating around 600 sites only a couple of weeks ago so as to convert underused 2G frequency bands into 4G spectrum.

With this conversion, they claimed that upload speeds, for example, would be doubled from 50Mb to 100Mb, yet it's likely that it will also be helping to deliver the Enhanced HD Voice service they've now just announced.

Like the HD Voice service that came before it, it uses what is known as an IP Multimedia System (IMS) to make calls over EE's 4G network, so as to improve voice reception and even mute background noise.

It works automatically and free of charge, so long as both people involved are EE pay monthly customers.

While EE haven't provided any exact technical specifications or measurements, they claim that HD Voice provide much clearer calls, making their network ideal for anyone people who are often on the go and often need to travel through busy, noisy areas.

Added to this, their 4G Calling service - of which Enhanced HD Voice is now a part - enables customers to make calls even in more remote places, where the traditional voice service alone wouldn't have been possible.

In other words, because EE's 4G network covers 85% of the UK's landmass (growing to 95% by 2020), it "will increase the reliability of voice calls", since it effectively doubles the operator's voice network.

The connoisseur's network?

Speaking of the new services benefits, EE's managing director of marketing, Max Taylor, boasted, "We already have 4G in more places than any other UK operator ... Now we're launching Enhanced HD Voice so that calls are of the highest quality and the most reliable they've ever been".

His comments are a reminder that, at least when it comes to sheer network performance, EE are very much the undisputed champion, even if the other big three operators are catching up.

Added to this, EE have recently begun taking significant steps to improving their once damaged reputation for customer service, having launched a series of friendlier and more immersive "Showcase" in a number of locations.

That said, while they are the only operator to provide Enhanced HD Voice, they're aren't the only mobile operator to offer HD Voice.

In fact, all three of the other big operators (i.e. O2, Vodafone, and Three) offer this service, having begun doing so with the launch of Three's voice over LTE (VoLTE) service in April 2015.

Symbolic gestures

As such, customers who aren't already with EE and/or don't want to make the switch to the kind of premium handset necessary to use Enhanced HD Voice can rest assured they can still improve their calls via mobile broadband elsewhere.

And for those who aren't in a position to buy this year's latest models, this may come as a considerable relief, seeing as how the iPhone 8, for instance, would set customers back £67.99 a month with EE.

Such expense highlights once again how many of the improvements and offers wielded by operators in order to advertise the superiority of their networks aren't actually accessible or relevant to the majority of customers, as Choose covered last week with O2's offer to fix their customers' broken touchscreens for free.

Indeed, it would seem that long before network improvements ever actually become part of the UK public's daily telecoms usage, they function more as symbolic gestures, adverts serving to radiate a seductive aura of "state-of-the-art-ness".

Still, for those who have or will be upgrading to such new handsets as the iPhone 8, EE's new Enhanced HD Voice service looks set to make their calls considerably less noise and stress free.

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