Simultaneous Voice and Data over 3G Confirmed for HTC Thunderbolt


We were just wondering if a tip we received regarding the HTC Thunderbolt’s capabilities to do voice and data at the same time over 3G were true, and it turns out it was according to this shot taken from within Verizon. It states that the functionality isn’t advertised due to the fact that it’s not common across all of their devices and because they can’t promise it’ll be consistent with their brand. Whatevs, Verizon. Us geeks know now. Just make sure you start putting this functionality into all of your phones! [Thanks, Anon!]

PS: Also of note is a tidbit stating mobile hotspot support won’t be available at launch. At least their wording leaves room for a future update enabling that functionality. Get on it, VZW!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Also, hotspot not supported at launch. Bummer.

  2. Is that a typo? Don’t they mean 4g network?

  3. root it

  4. is this a Verizon problem? I am on t mob in uk and can voice and data at same time on 3g, but not on 2g.

  5. This definitely isn’t a typo. I have confirmed this with several sources thus far. They meant 3G.

  6. I am sure this will have something to do with the toggling of Radios where CDMA will be used for Voice or Data and the same with LTE instead of both Services using LTE only.

  7. @Zed: No, you read it right. Verizon has never had a true 3g service.

  8. Simultaneous voice and data is totally possibly on a CDMA network. In the following article from the Wall Street Journal from last October, Brad Shewmake, spokesman for the CDMA Development Group mentioned that a “solution that will allow CDMA networks to carry voice and data simultaneously will become commercially available in the first half of next year” (meaning the first half of 2011).
    This also might be related to the CDMA 1X Advanced standard published in August 2009 and tested November 2010 (by ZTE) that will allow simultaneous voice and data. The last paragraph of the following press release states “A complementary device enhancement known as simultaneous 1X Voice and EV-DO Data (SVDO) will also become available during the same timeframe and will enable CDMA2000 devices to access EV-DO packet data services while in an active 1X circuit-switch voice call. For example, users will be able to send emails or access the Web while on voice calls; phones with GPS can update maps or download real-time traffic information while on voice calls, etc. This device enhancement, which enables these concurrent voice and data services, is independent of the air link standard and infrastructure.”

  9. This is not a big deal for me. I don’t need to browse and call someone at the same time in public.


  10. It isn’t Verizon specifically. It is the CDMA network that Verizon and other carriers use. GSM allows simultaneous voice and data. AT&T iPhones use GSM. THe Verizon iPhone will still be CDMA. 4G capable phones (soon on Verizon) will allow voice and data at the same time. I’m surprised to hear that it may be possible with the Thunderbolt when it is on 3G.

  11. @zed & nexy ownr: How is this a “problem”? When i had an iPhone I used this functionality 2 times over the course of my contract. I believe the need for this is blown out of proportion. Is it a nice ability? Yes. But not an absolute necessity.

  12. Maybe I’m a bit slow this afternoon, but the random iPhone 4 reference under a HTC Thunderbolt heading makes this whole thing feel wrong. Am I the only one?

  13. This is an important feature. There are many times I am on a call, away from a computer, and someone wants to email me a document or drawing to discuss. Now I have to get off of the call, get the document, then get back on the call

  14. I think it’s a great feature. Looking at it from the business side, there have been many times that I might need to reference a website (for support purposes) or look at a new email while on the phone. The biggest plus for me is that I can now do webinars using my phone as a modem while being on the actual conference call to listen and speak. There will be many happy professional users once this information is out there in my humble opinion.

  15. @ Sam K
    Thanks man, that was some good information!

  16. WOW, Verizon!!! You’ll actually be a “TRUE” 3G network now! The 3G standard definition does state that Voice and Data simultaneously defines a 3G network. So up till now Verizon actually had a 2.75G network, but just fibbed a little and called it a 3G network.

  17. at least android gets it first again!
    poor iphone users.

  18. Yeah im sorry but att will soon blow all that out the
    water =\… I talk and surf the web all the time
    And its awesome. Att may be behind but there is
    Always a reason to something … and att will perfect
    4G slowly But Surely In 2 Layers of 4G

    – Has All Major Carrier Phones

  19. I think this is a typo. Th must mean cdma for voice while using 4G for data. While the CDMA development group did say that they are creating a solution for simultaneous voice and Data on CDMA networks they said it wouldn’t be complete till spring. It’s not spring and I’m pretty sure the Thunderbolt has been in development for a while. Not in time to implement this technology. And lets be serious people before At&t and Verizon started doing those stupid commercials going against each other how many people actually even thought about using voice and data at the same time?

  20. it’s a snapdragon with svdo.

  21. The only thing I see being useful is sending/receiving MMS messages while on the phone. The reminder can be really annoying. I don’t find the need to browse the web when I’m on a call, though.

  22. @ cmherron
    No problem. I’m glad somebody found it useful.

    I’ve been trying to find out if the “solution” that Brad Shewmake (spokesman for the CDMA Development Group) was referring to in the Wall Street Journal article (from my previous comment) is the same as the CDMA 1x Advanced standard that was published by the CDMA Development Group or something completely different.

  23. I knew it! SVDO!

    This pretty much confirms (for me) that Sprint will be the first, and be announcing this on Feb. 7.

    Their phrashing “making the impossible, possible”, instantly made me think back to last August when SVDO (the upgrade to EVDO aka 3G) was announced by CDMA.


    Comment #78


  24. No they wont advertise it because Jobs would have a stroke.

  25. This is the only feature that was going to make me upgrade to a 4g device, but if this is doable on 3g then I don’t care at all about 4g. I know a lot of you guys don’t use this, but that doesn’t make it not important. I use my X as a gps every day while making receiving calls. There’s been countless times where I’ve had to hang up so I could re-route, or even start the gps if I was in a conversation before getting into the car. I’m sure there are plenty of other times this would be needed, but this is major to people like me who rely on Google for gps. Guessing the X doesn’t have the radios needed to get that working, or else I wouldn’t even think about upgrading till the next round of phones.

  26. I’m on sprint and while this is a neat feature of simultanously using voice and data i have ever really come across a very few amount of times over the years that i actually needed this feature. But is nice to have but using my epic i can just turn on wifi or 4g and i can use voice and data at the same time. Nice to look forward to it but not a deal breaker.

  27. you can call and surf on verizon’s 3g by using wifi at the same time for the data part. the call goes out on 3g, while the browser uss wifi. I’ve done it with droid x 2.2.1 and miren browser. works fine.

  28. This is a good and great, but just tell us verizon the dam pricing of the phones plains!!

  29. Neither pro nor con here, but I *believe* the HUB functionality is directly tied in here as well. My understanding is, IF you are using the device as a HUB and it rings, it drops the data sessions and your downstream users are high and dry now.

  30. @Juergen99 – GSM does not allow simultaneous voice and data. Certain 3G technologies do… which is not GSM, rather, W-CDMA – which the iPhone 3G and on use. GSM’s 3G service was EDGE. And EDGE is not capable of it, and has since been classified 2.5G with the abandoning of GSM *the technology* by the GSM Association. Again, GSM, as a technology died with EDGE.

    @JONNY M – it’s always been a true 3G network. The rules you cite are from the 3GPP… which Verizon is not a member of. The 3GPP2 is where Verizon belongs, and they’ve long qualified for that.

  31. So I have a few questions?
    Will you be able to purchase the Thunderbolt if you don’t have 4G in your area? I would imagine so cause it would probably run off 3G? and If they say its $250, will that be the expected 2 yr contract price? I have an upgrade ready on the 16 and I can’t decide wether to get the Droid X or wait for this “ever so wonderful” Thunderbolt…And are they really going to just be best buy exclusive? cause were I live I imagine they wont have too many in stock, which would really suck if I went to buy one..and how will I know the exact day when it is realeased?

  32. Ahhh this brings me back to the good old days when I would get booted off AOL cuz my mom used the phone. Glad I have T-Mobile.

  33. Please check again Sprint customers. Samsung Epic 4G DOES NOT support simultaneous voice+data while in 4G mode. HTC EVO is capable, however. Anyone knows otherwise, pls post your experience. I really don’t think the particular 4G market has anything to do with the device. It’s a hardware issue. EPIC 4G just won’t do it!

  34. I talk with my wife at lunch everyday on a bluetooth headset while tethering in 4g to my Nook Color on my Epic 4g. i can also surf the internet and talk on the phone at the same time no big deal. I have only done the latter in 3g but I know I can do it in 4g If I can tether and talk at the same time in 4g.

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