Vodacom South Africa is partnering device manufacturers to introduce the next chapter in the evolution of the Vodacom network, Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) – also known as Super High Definition (SHD) voice or HD Voice+ in a live commercial network. VoLTE subscribers using a compatible handset on the Vodacom network can now experience improved voice clarity made possible by the EVS codec.
Three years ago, Vodacom launched Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) and is now pioneering the evolution of this technology in South Africa with EVS being the successor of the current HD Voice Codec called AMR-WB (Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband).
According to Siyabonga Zulu, Vodacom Group Managing Executive for Radio Access Network Engineering, “Vodacom is always looking to improve the experience customers have on our network. Deploying Enhanced Voice Services is another step in this process and will ensure an even better voice quality for our 4G users. With our extensive 4G coverage, it makes sense to ensure that 4G users get the best possible voice quality to complement our super-fast 4G speeds.”
EVS can deliver speech quality that matches other audio sources such as hi-fidelity stored music and is designed to offer up to 20kHz of audio bandwidth (CD quality). In addition, EVS has been shown to provide coverage gains for cell-edge users, which will translate in better voice quality performance in cell-edge conditions, i.e. where coverage might not be optimal.
VoLTE, without EVS, offers more than double the bandwidth available over 2G voice and is similar to 3G WB AMR codec (23.85). With the addition of EVS, the bandwidth is again increased, further improving the speech quality when using EVS-SWB (Super Wideband). Vodacom continues to focus on bringing the latest enhancements to the network to ensure high performance and end-user satisfaction. Analysis by Ookla of Speedtest Intelligence data Q3 2018 confirms that Vodacom has the Fastest 4G Network in South Africa.