Three claims HD Voice is "the most significant development in voice technology to hit the UK mobile market in more than 20 years".
Andy Merrett has been using mobile phones since the days when they only made voice calls. Since then he has worked his way through a huge number of Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson models. Andy is a freelance writer and is not an employee of CNET.
Hundreds of thousands of high-quality voice calls have been made across Three's 3G mobile network every month since it introduced HD Voice earlier in the year.
Three, which has always claimed to be ahead of the curve on innovation and network features (if not customer service), now offers anyone with an HD Voice enabled phone the benefit of clearer calls at no extra cost.
Mobile phone calls aren't always the most pleasant experience thanks to a reduced frequency range and background noise. HD Voice is designed to transmit a wider range of frequencies, which is why it needs a 3G network to operate, as well as boosting the voice and cutting out extraneous sounds.
A number of handsets are already HD Voice compatible, including the HTC Desire S, Nokia C7, E7 and N8, Samsung Omnia 7 and Sony Ericsson Anzu. A further 20 handsets just need a software update. It's not clear whether HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson will definitely be pushing out that update, though Three expects more handsets to be HD Voice enabled by "the end of autumn".
Mark Allera, sales and marketing director at Three, suggested HD Voice was "the most significant development in voice technology to hit the UK mobile market in more than 20 years."
Three follows Orange in enabling HD Voice on its network, and hopes to collaborate with more networks in the future so the technology spreads further. HD Voice calls on the Three network cost the same as regular calls, though the service is reliant on being in a strong signal area, so don't expect to be using it out in the sticks.
Presumably when 4G networks finally roll out across Britain it will be much easier to make high-quality phone calls as well as chucking bucketloads of data around the country.