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Phones

Simultaneous Voice & Data Coming to CDMA

By Chuong Nguyen October 9, 2010, 4:27 pm

Further fueling fire behind rumors of an iPhone on Verizon Wireless rumor, CDMA Development Group spokesperson Brad Shewmake told the WSJ that the CDMA group, which provides the standards that Verizon Wireless network in the U.S. is based upon, would provide a new CDMA standard to allow simultaneous voice and data that would come next year. Called SVDO, the new CDMA protocol wouldn't require expensive network hardware upgrade, though individual handsets would need to be built specifically for SVDO compatibility, meaning existing handsets won't be able to multitask.

SVDO is coming the first half of next year and could help Verizon Wireless erode some of the leadership that AT&T is promoting as the GSM carrier is pushing simultaneous voice and data as a network advantage, and this feature has been a sticking point for some customers. Though the SVDO standard will be ready soon, Verizon Wireless itself is saying little on the matter. The WSJ is reporting that "Verizon Wireless is working on providing that capability, said Verizon executive Brian Higgins. He wouldn't say when it will be ready, but played down the need for handling voice and data at the same time."

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It's unclear how Verizon Wireless will manage its network at this time with the imminent launch of its next generation 4G LTE network later this year. The carrier announced that LTE will be coming in 38 markets at the end of the year, including large mega-cities that host NFL teams. With the backbone with LTE, 4G customers can theoretically use 4G for data throughput and 3G for voice, something that rival CDMA carrier Sprint has been conducting with its 4G WiMax network. For 4G Sprint customers on the Now Network, voice is handled on the company's older-generation technology while data gets priority on 4G, but if a customer moves into a 3G-only coverage area, they won't have simultaneous connections.

(via: MobileBurn; image via WSJ)

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