Rumor: Verizon to upgrade CDMA network to handle concurrent voice and data connections

Wed, May 19, 2010

News, Rumors

Apple has in the past taken subtle shots at Verizon’s CDMA network for its inability to simultaneously supporting voice and data connections. But with rumors that a CDMA compatible iPhone is in the works, you have to wonder how Apple feels about the potential for an inconsistent user experience across carriers. After all, a number of Apple’s more recent iPhone ads specifically highlight the device’s ability to surf the web, check email, and even purchase movie tickets during a phone call.

Well now comes word via Boy Genius Report that Verizon is planning to roll out technology enhancements to its network that would enable users to concurrently browse the web while talking on the phone.

One of our Verizon guys hit us up with some pretty interesting news. We have been told that when the mythical Verizon iPhone materializes, assuming it’s not a LTE unit, it might launch with VoRA; Voice over Rev. A. According to our source, Verizon has been testing VoRA as a precursor to VoLTE, and as long as the network upgrade timeline and iPhone release are aligned, we should see this happen. If it happens.

The first inkling that such an upgrade might be possible occurred back in August of 2009 when the CDMA Development Group issued a press release touting some upcoming technology upgrades.

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.

At the time, the CDMA Development Group anticipated a rollout of the new technology during the second half of 2010, which coincidentally, is also when Apple is rumored to be making an iPhone/Verizon announcement. Though recently unearthed court documents from 2008 show that Apple and AT&T’s exclusive iPhone agreement is scheduled to last until 2012, it’s entirely possible that the terms of their initial agreement have subsequently been modified.

With WWDC only about 3 weeks away, we’ll be finding out soon enough.



2 Comments For This Post

  1. 4Geo Says:

    OK, so can you hear me (laughing) now? Here’s the scoop. If you literally mean that the Verizon iPhone would have a voice over data app, and use only a single data connection, it is laughable. This would be the only way you could have simul voice and data on CDMA Rev A. Now, CDMA RevB, can apparently support simul voice and data, as RevB apparently stacks 2 channels on the tower end, to allow a RevB capable handset to have the function. Here’s the part that is clear. Not gonna happen. Verizon will not invest in this patch to the existing CDMA net at this point. If Apple won’t create a CDMA only version of an iPad, how would you expect an iPhone from Apple, let alone a real “bastard” of a CDMA RevB device.
    Verizon must be creating this FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) so as to keep the faithful hopeful, since the next iPhone is just a few weeks away from hello.
    Can you really hear me know? Are you listening? Oh, that’s right, you just don’t like what you hear.

  2. Raditude Says:

    “If Apple won’t create a CDMA only version of an iPad, how would you expect an iPhone from Apple, let alone a real “bastard” of a CDMA RevB device.”

    When Apple originally developed the iPhone, they initially developed it for use on Verizon Networks. Unfortunately, Verizon passed up on it, because Apple wanted too much control of contracts, so they went with ATT.

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