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StarHub promises clearer mobile calls with free HD Voice service

March 3rd, 2013 | by Alfred Siew

StarHub will be turning on a new service that promises to let users speak more clearly over their cellphones – without all the annoying background noise – from this Thursday.

Called HD Voice, the technology is similar to noise cancellation technology on phones and Bluetooth headsets that already lets users speak clearly, say, in a crowded cafe or market. The other party hears the caller’s voice, without the background chatter.

StarHub is the first telecom operator in Singapore to offer this, as it turns on the HD Voice feature for both current 3G and 4G users in the week ahead.

The move signals an unusual departure from the type of battles waged between telcos in the country. In the past six months, StarHub and rivals M1 and SingTel have typically fought over who had the best 4G coverage or fastest mobile Internet service.

The good news about HD Voice is that it requires no effort from users. They don’t have to configure their cellphones or sign on to a mobile Internet service.

The catch? They have to own one of 19 handset models that support HD Voice and both parties have to be StarHub subscribers.

Many popular new phones will work with the technology, including the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE and Sony Xperia Z.

For now, users on the telco’s SmartSurf Lite, SmartSurf Value, SmartSurf Premium and SmartSurf Elite plan will enjoy the better call quality.

It will be extended to users on other plans by the third quarter this year, StarHub said today. As more telcos turn on the service, the voice quality should also be available one international calls, it added.

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