Verizon Testing Simultaneous iPhone Voice/Data?
A random rumor has become the latest glimmer of hope for those anxiously awaiting a Verizon iPhone: news that the carrier is testing a way for iPhones to run simultaneous voice and data. The inability of the existing CDMA/EV-DO network to handle concurrent voice calls is one reason why observers like AppleInsider
think Apple has been reluctant to sign an agreement with Verizon, because they are insisting on "feature parity"
between different carriers.
Verizon is preparing to move its network to the 4G LTE technology over the next few years. The data protocol on its interim 3G network, EV-DO Revision A, requires a separate channel for voice. Boy Genius Report
is quoting an unnamed source at Verizon
that says they're working on a way to overcome that restriction. The technology that Verizon is testing, called Voice over Revison A or VoRA, will allow a device to use the EV-DO data channel for voice calls as well. So if persistent rumors of a CDMA/EV-DO compatible iPhone come true, this means you won't have to hang up to check your email or lose your Google Maps session if you get a call.
The future of additional carriers for the iPhone in the US remains a mystery. In a talk at the J.P. Morgan technology, media and telecom conference that was liveblogged by the Wall Street Journal
, AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega "just laughs when asked to give the date that AT&T's deal with Apple runs out." The executive appeared confident about its future business, however, saying he believed that he could hold on to family-plan or business-discount customers even if the iPhone was available from other carriers.