By Stephen Schenck | January 27, 2011 5:05 PM
Last week we got a look at a Verizon document saying that the upcoming HTC Thunderbolt will pull off a Verizon first, letting you use your phone’s cellular data connection while a voice call is still in progress. While you might think that this new capability is due to the LTE connection, using LTE data and 3G for voice, that’s apparently not the case, as the phone can do both with 3G alone.
Traditionally, CDMA-based network like Verizon’s have one connection for either voice or data, keeping you from going online with your phone while you’re in a call. Simultaneous voice and data over CDMA was promised last year, but we haven’t heard of any devices yet capable of the feat.
You might have missed the note about the Thunderbolt able to pull this dual-mode trick over 3G at the the bottom of last week’s Verizon find, but a new Verizon document that just surfaced gives us a little more insight into what’s going on. It seems that the provider is struggling with the implementation of this new system, as it advises its employees to specifically NOT tell customers about the function. Verizon says that it does indeed work, but it’s not reliable enough to be used as a selling point.
Assuming Verizon gets the kinks worked out, this could be big news for the carrier. Even if it’s only available on new models, this could help level the playing field between the networks. While 4G is the future, 3G will be in use long enough for this new system to affect plenty of upcoming phones.