According to unnamed sources at Sprint, the carrier is expected to have HD voice services up and running for some HTC EVO 4G LTE users by the end of this year. However, availability will be extremely limited initially: both parties must have HD voice-capable handsets, and right now, only the newest EVO is compatible. Additionally, both parties must be connected to a tower that has been upgraded to support HD voice; again, those markets will be scarce in the beginning.
This limited availability is why Sprint has been so quiet about this exciting feature of the EVO 4G LTE. In fact, according to this Sprint source, the carrier doesn’t even expect HD voice to really become widespread until sometime in 2013, when a “critical mass” of Sprint markets have been upgraded to support the service. Sprint also needs to have more handsets available to consumers that support the service – this might not happen until 2014.
Therefore, I predict that initially, individuals who have shared family plans will benefit from this service. Most people who are on family plans live in the same general area, and oftentimes several members of the family have the same device. For most people, though, it will probably be at least another 12-18 months before this service really starts to become widespread.
On the one hand, this is disappointing news. HD voice has gotten rave reviews in various tests, and lots of people want to try it out. But on the other hand, the fact that we’re still a ways off from having widespread adoption means that the EVO is future-proofed for quite a long time. (See that? That’s me, trying to approach things with a glass-half-full attitude.)
In the meantime, don’t be surprised if you rarely or never have a call connect in HD for the next year or so. Sprint still needs a bit of time.[Phone Scoop]