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Orange begins first HD Voice calls between countries, decides clarity knows no borders


Orange was one of the vanguards of high-quality cellphone calls, having kicked off HD Voice with a Moldovian launch back in 2009. The premium chatter has always stopped at the border, however -- even two Orange customers couldn't see the improvement if they were in different countries. The carrier is bridging that gap with claims that it's the first to support improved voice on the international level: starting today, Moldovans and Romanians on Orange can give each other a ring and expect the extra-smooth calling they're used to from local conversations. We don't yet know if and when other countries will hop on the bandwagon. We've reached out, but it's possible that any upgraded links between other countries will come only from case-by-case negotiations. Those in Bucharest might want to track down any relatives in Chișinău for a quick chat in the meantime.

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World premiere: High Definition mobile voice now possible between two countries

* Orange overcomes technical challenges to deliver the world's first HD voice direct interconnect between two operators
* Orange reinforces its leadership position again as the world's first operator to launch HD voice

International Mobile HD voice: a technical challenge

From today, Orange customers in Romania and Moldova will be able to enjoy HD quality voice calls between the two countries. For the first time in the world, Orange has been able to interconnect these two mobile networks with different infrastructure to ensuring end-to-end HD voice quality from one country to another. From now on, when a call is made between two HD voice mobile phones from these countries, Orange customers will enjoy crystal clear sound instead of "standard" voice quality.

This achievement is the fruit of an international project team's labours, bringing together key skill sets within the Group, Moldova and Romania. The success of mobile HD voice in these adjacent countries, alongside their linguistic and cultural proximity, is at the root of Orange Romania and Orange Moldova's decision to extend the mobile HD voice offering between their two countries.

"Mobile HD voice offers noticeably better audio quality, and brings a real satisfaction to Orange clients. Almost 4 million customers have switched to HD voice in 14 countries, compared to 1 million customers a year ago. This is a true commercial success and demonstrates Orange's commitment to give our customers the best mobile experience available", said Paul-François Fournier, Orange's Technocentre Executive VP.

Orange's ambition is to make HD voice calling accessible by 2013
As the world's first operator to launch HD voice in Moldova in 2009, Orange is pursuing a strategy to make HD voice mobile generally accessible, for it to become the communication standard of tomorrow.

HD voice brings an impression of closeness and presence, a clearer, richer and more natural sound and significantly reduced background noise in noisy environments, making it easier to understand conversations, even whispered. Furthermore, it's now available on a wide range of compatible mobile phones: close to 80 models from 10 different suppliers.

Orange already offers mobile HD voice in 14 countries: Moldova, Armenia, Belgium, France (Metropolitan and Reunion), Spain (Catalonia), United Kingdom, Egypt (Cairo), Luxembourg, Mauritius, Romania, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Uganda and Jordan. Further launches in Africa and the Middle East are scheduled by the end of 2012.

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