News by Andrew Kameka on Friday April 04, 2014.
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Sprint says that its tri-band Spark network optimization is a major step forward for faster download speeds and enhanced coverage, but the network is also a step back in one regard - it can't keep a data connection during a phone call. Consumer Reports discovered that Spark devices are incapable of using simultaneous voice and data, something previous Sprint LTE devices are able to do. A standard Samsung Galaxy S 4 can receive a call and still browse the web or check email to answer a question, but the Sprint Spark version of that phone will cut data services during that conversation. So the next time someone is relying on map navigation to get somewhere, answering calls near critical instruction points may not be the best idea.
The inability to use voice and data at the same time has negatively affected CDMA carriers like Sprint in the past, but the introduction of 4G technology helped eliminate some of those issues. One would think that an advanced form of 4G like Spark would continue that progress but Spark actually regresses multitasking options. When reached for comment, Sprint issued the following statement to PocketNow:
Sprint Spark devices leverage eCSFB technology (enhanced Circuit Switch Fall Back) which enables single radio functionality in the handset. This allows Sprint to leverage the many benefits of Network Vision, including the ability to utilize multiple CDMA and LTE spectrum bands efficiently. Although, simultaneous voice and LTE is not supported on new Sprint Spark devices, it does provide improved coverage, quality of voice and data service, as well as improved battery performance.source: Consumer Reports, via: PocketNow
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.