(Pocket-lint) - AT&T has announced that it will improve calling on its network later this year with the introduction of HD Voice.
The second-largest carrier stateside made the announcement at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit in California on Monday. AllThingsD reports AT&T VP Kris Rinne told the audience: "HD Voice is part of our voice over LTE strategy."
AT&T's announcement comes in a timely manner, as competitor T-Mobile announced HD Voice on its network at a media event last week. T-Mobile will make HD Voice available on the iPhone 5 when the handset launches on its network later in April.
Sprint was the first to bring HD Voice to market in the US in a limited manner last year, though it is still not available on the iPhone 5.
AT&T didn't delve into specifics on which markets would get the upgraded calling feature. HD Voice requires network device compatibility on each end of the call to work. As suggested, HD Voice offers clearer/higher-quality voice communication.
HD Voice is offered on more than 45 carriers in 35 countries worldwide as of September 2012. It is most prevalent in Europe, leaving carriers in the US lagging significantly behind.
The nation's largest-carrier, Verizon, announced earlier this year that HD Voice wouldn't be available on its network until 2014 - a bummer for the mass of subscribers.
Just like LTE, HD Voice will be a selling point for carriers stateside. It looks like the underdog T-Mobile will have the upper hand for at least a few months. But in the age of text communication, is voice calling what it used to be? You tell us.