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31 December 09

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Orange to launch mobile HD Voice in 2010 - a new standard for the UK telecoms industry

  • Orange first to announce mobile High Definition (HD) Voice for its customers, building on the company’s position as the leading 3G operator in the UK
  • Mobile HD Voice to herald a new era for mobile communications, providing a superior customer experience for voice calls in the UK
  • UK trials to be announced early in the new year with full nationwide roll-out due later in 2010

Orange today revealed it will be launching HD Voice nationwide for customers on its mobile network in 2010 - the first such announcement by a UK operator, and testament to the company’s focus on innovation.

With its crystal clear, superior sound quality, Orange’s introduction of HD Voice will herald a new era for mobile communications and a new standard for the telecoms industry. HD Voice delivers excellent audio quality to mobile calls and will be available to Orange customers with a HD Voice enabled handset. Orange is already working with leading handset manufacturers on the development of devices to be rolled out next year.

The 2010 launch follows two years of considerable investment in the Orange mobile network with expansion and technology upgrades across large areas of the UK. Orange currently provides high speed 3G coverage to more than 93% of the UK's population - more than any other UK operator - and was voted ‘Best Network’ by the readers of What Mobile magazine.

Tom Alexander, CEO of Orange UK, said: “Orange is proud to be leading the industry into the next decade by announcing a new standard in voice innovation that will transform the mobile experience for customers in the UK. HD Voice really does inject a level of innovation into mobile phone calls, making it sound as if callers are actually in the same room. Once people have tried it, they won’t want to go back.”

HD Voice uses the WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) speech codec. This provides excellent audio quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50–7000 Hz compared to the current narrowband speech codec of 300–3400 Hz. The WB-AMR (Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate) delivers significantly enhanced sound quality whilst utilising the same network resources.

Further details on the Orange HD Voice roll out will be made available in 2010.

ENDS

About Orange

Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. With 126 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates.

In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population, and 3G coverage to more than 93%. At the end of September 2009, Orange had more than 17 million customers in the UK – 16.11 million active mobile customers and approximately 900,000 fixed broadband customers.

At the end of 2008, France Telecom had consolidated sales of 53.5 billion euros (38.1 billion euros for the first nine months of 2009) and at 30 September 2009, the Group had a customer base of almost 190 million customers in 32 countries. These include 128.8 million mobile customers and 13.4 million broadband Internet (ADSL) customers worldwide. Orange is the number three mobile operator and the number two provider of broadband Internet services in Europe and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.

Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Personal Communications Services Limited.

For more information please call the Orange Press Office 0870 3731500, or visit www.orange.co.uk/newsroom

Press release: Products & ServicesMobile

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