05-22-11 06:31 PM
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  1. StuartV's Avatar
    I have read many posts on here over the years where people just say flat-out "you cannot do voice and data simultaneously on Verizon. It's a limitation of CDMA." Period. Stated as fact. No further discussion.

    And I have always thought to myself "what arrogant ignorance. It's not that you can't do it. You just can't do it without having 2 radios built into the phone."

    Well, yesterday, I learned some very happy news. Verizon is finally offering a phone that actually DOES THIS. Yes, the HTC Thunderbolt Android phone WILL do simultaneous voice and data on Verizon.

    My brother got a Thunderbolt last week. He told me yesterday that it would do simultaneous voice and data. I told him "I don't believe you. Show me." So, he showed me as he turned off his phone's WiFi, then called my phone. Once our voice connection was established, he hit his Home key, started the browser on this phone and handed it to me. I stood there surfing all over the Web while our phones continued to maintain the voice call.

    And, there is no 4G in our area (Tallahassee, FL) yet. I was expecting a 4G phone to be able to do do voice and 4G data at the same time, but yesterday I was doing web browsing over 3G (and seemingly a lot faster than on my Storm2 with the BB browser or Opera Mini) while still having the voice connection going.

    While on the subject of browsers... I have used the BB browser and Opera Mini quite a lot on my Storm2. The BB browser is often aggravating because, in order to enlarge many web pages enough to actually click the link you want or read what you're trying to read, it's a slow process of double-tap, wait for it to enlarge, double-tap again, wait again. Repeat ad nauseam until it's finally big enough. In Opera Mini, you don't even get that much control. You can double-tap and it will get one size larger and that's it. Many, many times in either one I have ended up very frustrated because it's either very hard or very slow to navigate the links on a website. In contrast, while surfing on my brother's Thunderbolt, I found it VERY quick to do the same thing. Mainly because whenever anything was too small to read or accurately touch the link I wanted to follow, I could "unpinch" to zoom and make it as big as I wanted. And the process of enlarging the part of the page I wanted to see was VERY quick. No double-tap and wait for a full second while it re-renders on the screen. Just put two fingers together on the spot I wanted to enlarge, spread them apart and watch the image on the screen get bigger just as quickly as I spread my fingers. Then touch the link I want and on to the next page. MUCH easier browsing.

    I went to the VZW site and looked at the details on the Thunderbolt and the new 4G Samsung Charge. The VZW site specifically says that the Thunderbolt will do simultaneous voice and data. There is no mention of the Charge doing this and the Verizon rep that sold my brother his Thunderbolt told him that the Thunderbolt will do it and the Charge (and all other VZW phones) will not. The Thunderbolt is the only phone made with 2 3G and 2 4G radios built in.

    I am really surprised that I have not read about this anywhere else before now. I would have thought that, even though it's not a Blackberry, even the BB community would have noted and discussed this. There have certainly been enough discussions on here about the general subject.

    I have been a BB stalwart through my Pearl, Storm, and Storm2. But, today I am jumping ship. 4G is being turned on here by the end of next week (according to 2 different local Verizon reps). BB has no Verizon 4G phone coming any time soon.

    I have regretted many times not being able to look stuff up on the web while talking handsfree.

    I have also been annoyed many times that I frequently receive emails with WMV (Windows Media Player) video files attached and I can't watch them because my Storm2 doesn't support playing them. And even if it did, they are often over 3MB in size, so even if my BB supported WMV, it wouldn't let me download those anyway.

    I forwarded a 5MB WMV to my brother yesterday and his Thunderbolt played it just fine.

    Also, the Thunderbolt is a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to 8 devices using a free app downloaded from the Android App Store. I am looking forward to being able to have my laptop and/or a tablet connected to the Internet at 4G speeds without having to pay extra to Verizon for tethering! And without having to pay the extra upfront and monthly charges for a tablet with 3G or 4G built in.

    So long, Blackberry. It's been great, but everybody else has advanced while you have jogged in place.
    05-16-11 11:15 AM
  2. pkcable's Avatar
    If you have wifi you can do this with ANY Verizon phone.
    Fubaz and meistro like this.
    05-16-11 12:08 PM
  3. valorian's Avatar
    Also, the Thunderbolt is a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to 8 devices using a free app downloaded from the Android App Store. I am looking forward to being able to have my laptop and/or a tablet connected to the Internet at 4G speeds without having to pay extra to Verizon for tethering! And without having to pay the extra upfront and monthly charges for a tablet with 3G or 4G built in.
    Care to share the name of this app? I'd be very surprised to see an app you can use without Verizon finding out you are using it.

    Also, did you research the poor battery life the Thunderbolt is getting on 4G? The most I've read about it 6 hours. Make sure you buy a spare battery.
    05-16-11 12:50 PM
  4. StuartV's Avatar
    If you have wifi you can do this with ANY Verizon phone.
    Anywhere that HAS Wifi, that is. Which is VASTLY smaller area than where there is Verizon data coverage. VASTLY smaller even than just Verizon 3G coverage.

    Being able to have 3G data to my laptop (via WiFi connection to my phone) while still actually talking on my phone is HUGE (in my opinion). Certainly a MAJOR improvement over only having simultaneous voice and data when you have access to a WiFi connection.

    I travel a lot. I have stayed with Verizon because of their network coverage. That has always been my choice in the compromise between coverage and simultaneous voice/data. Now, I don't have to compromise any more. I'm sure I'm not the only mobile professional who will rejoice in this.
    05-16-11 12:59 PM
  5. StuartV's Avatar
    Care to share the name of this app? I'd be very surprised to see an app you can use without Verizon finding out you are using it.

    Also, did you research the poor battery life the Thunderbolt is getting on 4G? The most I've read about it 6 hours. Make sure you buy a spare battery.
    I don't know the name of the app. I don't even have the phone myself yet. My brother has a Thunderbolt and used the app last night to email from his laptop while tethered to his phone.

    But, I just learned at lunch some additional info:

    - Verizon has a Mobile Hotspot app that comes with the phone. It lets you tether through your phone. That is free right now, but the free part is currently scheduled to end on 6/15 and then it will be $20/month after that.

    - The tethering app my brother is using is one he downloaded from the Android App Store, but Verizon filters the Android App Store so you can't see the tethering apps. The only way you can see them in the App Store is to put your Thunderbolt in Airplane Mode then manually turn WiFi back on and connect to the App Store over WiFi. Then you get a view of the App Store that is not filtered based on your carrier.

    All that said, even if I end up paying $20/month down the road for tethering, it's still better than paying for separate data plans for a 3G/4G tablet and an air card for my laptop.

    And yes, I am aware that the Thunderbolt doesn't seem to get as good battery life as my Storm2. But, I charge my Storm2 every night anyway. As long as the Thunderbolt can last a whole day, having a shorter life won't really be a problem for me. If I'm ever doing stuff where using the 4G actually makes a difference, and I'm using it for any length of time, it's most likely I'll be some place where I'd be able to have the phone in a charging cradle anyway (e.g. home, office, or in my truck). And I certainly don't mind if I have to spend $15 on a 1700mAh to help. Actually, I think my brother just got 2 of those batteries for that price on eBay. And they are the same size as stock, so no extended battery cover required.
    05-16-11 01:08 PM
  6. Phil DeLong's Avatar
    Haven't we known that the Thunderbolt could do this for a long time?
    05-16-11 04:23 PM
  7. StuartV's Avatar
    You may have, but I did not. I expected simultaneous voice and 4G. I did not expect simultaneous voice and 3G.
    05-16-11 05:06 PM
  8. papped's Avatar
    Its kind of cheating because it doesn't use the same 3g network though... So when there's an outage like last time thunderbolt users can't get 4g or 3g while others can that don't use ehrpd
    05-17-11 12:37 PM
  9. StuartV's Avatar
    What does that mean (that it doesn't use the same 3G network)?

    What is ehrpd?

    If you're not talking on the phone (on a Thunderbolt) and you're using 3G, THEN does it use the same network at other VZW 3G phones?

    And, in the end, do I really care? Is it only an issue when the 4G network goes down? How often do I really expect that to be a problem? That seems like a minor tradeoff in risk versus the reward of being able to surf the web while talking on my handsfree.
    05-17-11 12:45 PM
  10. Gawain's Avatar
    The VZW site notes simultaneous voice and data while using the 4G/LTE network. There are images of internal documents citing simultaneous voice and data for the TBolt while on EVDO, but it is not actively sold apparently because there is no guarantee of performance.

    I believe the TBolt accomplishes this by using the same protocol that is used for PTT over EVDO. That's the only way it could be accomplished over "Evolution Data-Only" and not converting to "Evolution Data Voice" (EVDV). I highly doubt there are two 3G antennas in there.
    05-17-11 12:49 PM
  11. StuartV's Avatar
    Actually, the Verizon rep specifically told my brother that there ARE 2 3G antennas in the Thunderbolt.
    05-17-11 01:09 PM
  12. StuartV's Avatar
    ps. The Verizon site says simultaneous voice and data for the Thunderbolt. I did not see any reference to that being specifically 4G LTE.

    In contrast, on the Charge description, it does not say simultaneous voice and data anywhere.

    If the Thunderbolt only did simultaneous when using 4G or WiFi, it would seem pretty dumb for Verizon to have a blanket statement in the Thunderbolt description that says "simultaneous voice and data" without specifying that it is only in 4G or WiFi coverage areas. Otherwise, they'd be opening themselves up to a ton of calls from people in 3G-only areas complaining that they can't do it. And, in that case, why wouldn't they also say it about the Charge?

    Also, as I noted before, when I tested it with my brother's phone, the browsing speeds seemed quite fast. Seemingly faster than data-only browsing on my Storm2. Hitting Google Images had things popping up very quickly (while still maintaining the voice connection). It definitely did not give the appearance of "sharing" the channel with the voice connection.
    05-17-11 01:13 PM
  13. Gawain's Avatar
    HTC Thunderbolt might be getting simultaneous voice and data on 3G after all -- Engadget

    New lease on life: 3GPP2 publishes CDMA2000 1X Advanced spec -- Engadget Mobile

    Verizon reps don't typically know. I'm not saying he's wrong, but...he's wrong.

    Poking around and found the SVDO notation.

    Finally: It states the 4G thing pretty clearly.

    All this is moot. The simultaneous voice/data on 3G is a reality on the HTC Thunderbolt. That's good for those that want it or need it.

    Make sure you buy an extra battery, or buy the extended capacity battery. The TBolt cuts through battery life like a hot knife through butter. I had one for a few days and loved it (even after the headache inducing ActiveSync over Exchange set-up problems I had). It will make your Storm2 look like a battery champ (had one of those too).

    The reason why these other devices have a better and faster browsing experience is due to a couple factors, specific to the BlackBerry architecture of how data is routed through BB servers, compression and whatnot...

    Either way, enjoy the TBolt, it is quite a device. Apparently that new Samsung Charge has a breathtaking display (I've not seen one in person yet)...
    05-17-11 02:15 PM
  14. StuartV's Avatar
    As you say, the distinction is moot. Voice and 3G data work and that's all the really matters. I'm still not convinced one way or the other on how it works. Verizon's posted specs don't say anything. HTC's posted specs only list LTE 700 and CDMA EvDO Rev A.

    HTC ThunderBolt™ at Verizon

    You'd think, if it was doing it via SVDO, the specs would list that.

    Also, if it's SVDO, wouldn't that imply that Verizon updated all their 3G towers to support that? AND, if they did that, wouldn't we expect other phones to be coming out that support it, too? I don't see VZW going to all that trouble just to support one model of phone.

    OTOH, if it's accomplished solely within the Thunderbolt itself (e.g. by having a second 3G antenna), then obviously it wouldn't have required any tower updates and there's no particular reason to expect other phones to come out with this capability.
    05-17-11 02:31 PM
  15. Gawain's Avatar
    All the stuff I posted states pretty clearly it's a software related. Having two antennas in operation, on the same frequency (EVDO at either 800 or 1900 MHz) would interfere with clear transmission of the code needed for voice and the packet loss would become unacceptable for data.

    Back in the days when I worked for GTE and early Verizon Wireless/Verizon Communications days, the EVDO was a slam dunk path to take (1X was still rolling out, and all the incumbent carriers still had analog networks too). EVDV was never talked about, despite Qualcomm's efforts. The deployment costs were potentially higher, and the network operations posed "inconveniences"...it was also going to slow down their desired time-line.

    HTC cranks out new devices every few weeks it seems. I think you'll see more from them going forward. I'll be curious to see if the Motorola Droid X2 will support this SVDO feature.

    We shall see.
    05-17-11 02:45 PM
  16. papped's Avatar
    Just google ehrpd... That's how they do it. Problem is the devices don't switch properly right now if ehrpd goes down...

    So theoretically, you have a 4g/ehrpd 3g device. 4g network goes down + ehrpd network goes down. The device doesnt switch to standard 3g...

    So all the 3g phones still work, LTE/ehrpd phones do not (stuck on 1X)...
    Last edited by papped; 05-17-11 at 03:41 PM.
    05-17-11 03:38 PM
  17. StuartV's Avatar
    Gotcha. Thanks for the info.

    And, in theory, we might expect that a firmware update would fix the phone so it will switch to standard 3G properly when needed?
    05-17-11 04:43 PM
  18. papped's Avatar
    I would guess so, but I don't know what the real issue is so it's hard to say (maybe having the phone auto switch between both isn't that easy for some reason, I dunno).

    Or even if it was a firmware issue they might just try to make the LTE network more reliable and not bother fixing the switchoff (assuming that the LTE network doesn't go down or something). Not as ideal in that case though.
    05-17-11 05:16 PM
  19. NotJustAPhone's Avatar
    I would guess so, but I don't know what the real issue is so it's hard to say (maybe having the phone auto switch between both isn't that easy for some reason, I dunno).

    Or even if it was a firmware issue they might just try to make the LTE network more reliable and not bother fixing the switchoff (assuming that the LTE network doesn't go down or something). Not as ideal in that case though.
    There's a way to manually force your ThunderBolt to use the Rev A network (see link below). It came in handy during the big LTE outage, but this isn't something many people will know about so hopefully this will be addressed in a fix.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/having...-settings-away

    For those interested in the dual radios of the ThunderBolt and its antenna configuration, the following review provides the most information I've seen so far.

    AnandTech - HTC Thunderbolt Review: The First Verizon 4G LTE Smartphone
    05-17-11 05:26 PM
  20. tech_head's Avatar
    THe TB allows voice/data simultaneously because it uses a chip that supports SVDO.
    CDMA Development Group Announces 'SVDO': Handle Calls and Data at same time | wpcentral | Windows Phone News, Forums, and Reviews

    Not new news. It's just the first handset to support the standard that has been around since 2009.

    You don't need LTE to do it, just SVDO.
    05-17-11 09:09 PM
  21. StuartV's Avatar
    Very cool that AnandTech confirms that the Thunderbolt does actually have 2 radio transceivers and 4 antennas!

    I got mine today and love it so far. Setup ActiveSync to my work and an additional ActiveSync to my personal email (which I have as Hosted Exchange at Mailstreet). Got all my email, contacts and calendar from both in a matter of minutes.

    For those interested in the dual radios of the ThunderBolt and its antenna configuration, the following review provides the most information I've seen so far.

    AnandTech - HTC Thunderbolt Review: The First Verizon 4G LTE Smartphone
    05-17-11 10:05 PM
  22. pkcable's Avatar
    I found the extended life battery accessory for the TB......

    05-18-11 09:14 AM
  23. StuartV's Avatar
    Got my TB yesterday. 4G showed up on my phone this morning. The signal is not very strong where I am, but I got this:



    Then I turned my 4G radio off and ran Speedtest again WHILE carrying on a conversation via Bluetooth HF in my truck.



    I guess I oughta quit bugging you all on CrackBerry now and go start bugging people on AndroidCentral.com. But, I still may get a Playbook, and I'll be wanting to keep up with what RIM comes up with going forward. I may switch back some day, if RIM actually catches up and surpasses Android.

    They'll definitely have to surpass, though. Aside from all the other advantages, switching from BES to ActiveSync has also allowed me to drop the extra $15/month for Blackberry Enterprise from my VZW account and drop my Mailstreet account from $20/mo for Exchange+BES to $12/mo for Exchange+ActiveSync.

    AND with the stock ActiveSync client on my TB, I can now sync with my personal mail, contacts and calendar AND also sync with my work mail, contacts, and calendar (via work's OWA interface). I could never sync work mail, contacts, and calendar before. The BB didn't support doing it through the OWA interface because our OWA server uses Internet Acceleration Server or something like that, which BB/BIS doesn't support.

    Summary: In my case this Android phone is actually BETTER, in functionality (at least in some ways) for email, than my BB was. And cheaper, too! AND lets me do simultaneous voice and data. Woohooo!
    Last edited by StuartV; 05-18-11 at 02:03 PM.
    05-18-11 02:00 PM
  24. pkcable's Avatar
    We DO have an active Android section, and plenty of our members have multiple devices, OR have made the switch to other platforms, BUT stay for the CB community spirit.

    Also if you DO get the PB, I bet you are gonna LOVE tethering that bad boy at 4G speeds!!!!! I think it's still only 20 extra per month also for the 2GB plan.
    05-18-11 02:15 PM
  25. StuartV's Avatar
    Unfortunately, the one "killer" tablet app for me is Virtual Studio Live to control the digital mixer I use as part of my band's PA. Right now, they have a native app to wirelessly remote control the mixer from an iPad. They have announced that they are going to release an Android app to do the same thing. But, they have no plans for a PB app to do it.

    So, the only way I'm going to end up getting a PB is IF RIM releases Android support by the time Presonus releases their Android app, and IF somebody jumps through RIM's hoops to get VSL to run on the PB, and IF, once there, the app actually works and is usable. The actual console is pretty big. Getting all the controls on the screen to let you control it from a 10" tablet seems like an engineering feat. I'm not at all sure that it will translate into something that's actually usable on a 7" screen.

    But, we'll SEE!
    05-18-11 02:44 PM
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