Simultaneous voice and data won't be available on Verizon until this spring, at least that's the common knowledge shared by the CDMA Development Group.
Yet we've been hearing rumors over the last several days--from Phandroid and Engadget, for instance--that the Android-powered HTC Thunderbolt will have this functionality on Verizon's 3G data network.
The rumor is based on supposedly leaked internal documents destined for the sales team. Neither Verizon nor HTC were immediately available for comment, and Verizon has not officially stated it will adopt the technology change.
According to photos, the Verizon sales sheet (dated January 25, 2011 and 1/31/2011) reads:
There is functionality in the Thunderbolt that allows simultaneous voice and data while on the VZW 3G network, however, we cannot promise the experience will be one that is consistent with our brand. As a result, do not reference this functionality as a benefit during your conversations with customers.
Simultaneous voice and data is a 3G feature that the competing GSM technology can currently lord over Verizon and Sprint's CDMA networks. The functionality is what allows you to check your e-mail and maps app without hanging up a call--and its one useful feature that will be missing from the Verizon iPhone at launch.
It's not a stretch of the imagination that these documents are legitimate and voice and data will indeed be jointly available on the Thunderbolt. The smartphone we first saw at CES isn't due out until mid-year, which still fits into the spring timeline to flip on the voice-and-data switch for CDMA.
It's a sure bet that, if true, Big Red's keeping the news hush-hush to mitigate any future disappointment at some jolting hiccups if the new technology doesn't initially run as smoothly as possible. Verizon does have a reputation, after all, to carefully and jealously maintain.