Light Reading

Sprint's Spark: It's Fast but No Multi-Tasker

Dan Jones
5/9/2014
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Sprint says it is focused on battery life, coverage, and performance for its Spark devices over the ability to talk and surf the web at the same time.

Consumer Reports found that phones on the Sprint Spark network can't do simultaneous calls and data sessions. The publication found that data-dependent apps stopped functioning when a call came in or a user made a call.

Light Reading asked Sprint about this: "Sprint Spark devices leverage eCSFB technology (enhanced Circuit Switch Fall Back), which enables single radio functionality in the handset," a spokeswoman explained in a email.

She continued that using a single radio at a time gets better performance out of devices that can utilize the Spark network upgrades:

    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. The devices will support simultaneous voice and data on WiFi.

So potential Sprint Spark users -- the upgrade is currently available in 24 markets in the US, most of which are big cities -- have a choice to make: Do they need a really fast connection when not calling, or do they need to multi-task? Users have so far been finding 60+ Mbit/s speeds on unloaded networks, while Light Reading saw speeds of up to 27.27 Mbit/s on a busy network in New York City. (See Fanning Sprint's Spark in NYC and Sprint: LTE TDD Speed Boost Coming Soon.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/23/2014 | 1:55:16 PM
Re: Yes people do need data service while they're on a voice call
briandnewby - I wonder how many  mobile users actually see simultaneous voice and data calls as important. 
briandnewby
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briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/23/2014 | 12:43:18 PM
Re: Yes people do need data service while they're on a voice call
Mitch, I think I would be connected with as many devices as I had around, using them all.

So, yes, I could see not needing the dual-functionality if my iPad was near, but stepping out from a meeting, as a passenger in a car, in line to board a plane--wow, actually, as I'm beginning to do the inventory, this is a bigger need than I thought!
logons2
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logons2,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/16/2014 | 4:08:08 PM
Re: WE NEED DATA AND VOICE WORKING TOGETHER
Thats right you got money to blow.. some of us don't so we get a mobile devices that dose it all, simple And the phone just has a good battery life period my wife has t-mobile she talk and surf and her battery last just as long as mine. So spark did not make my battery life better samsung just build a great device...
tb100
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tb100,
User Rank: Moderator
5/16/2014 | 1:59:36 PM
Re: WE NEED DATA AND VOICE WORKING TOGETHER
There's a guy on the net who reviews movies as Hulk, and his reviews are always in all caps, so whenever I see a post in all caps I end up reading it in my mind using Hulk's voice.

Anyway, I believe the goal of all the wireless companies is to eventually go to Voice over LTE (VoLTE). In that case, voice is just another data packet, so voice and data will work just fine on all LTE phones, Sprint included.

In the mean time I personally prefer the extra battery life. But if I were a tech that need data while I was talking, I'd get a tablet with a data plan.

 

 
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
5/14/2014 | 6:21:02 PM
Re: WE NEED DATA AND VOICE WORKING TOGETHER
Seriously though, seems like it was a choice between the Spark-compatible phones having decent battery life and multi-tasking. Note that they turn the radios off depending on what frequency you're on at the time (800/1900/2600). 

 

So the real choice is probably whether you want a phone that can handle simultaneous voice and data or a phone with decent battery life.
logons2
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logons2,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/14/2014 | 6:19:35 PM
Re: Yes people do need data service while they're on a voice call
Big big big disappointment, or should i say let down
logons2
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logons2,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/14/2014 | 6:15:42 PM
Re: WE NEED DATA AND VOICE WORKING TOGETHER
its just very hurtfull we where doing just fine with what was there before
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
5/14/2014 | 6:13:20 PM
Re: WE NEED DATA AND VOICE WORKING TOGETHER
No need to shout! :-)
logons2
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logons2,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/14/2014 | 6:11:15 PM
WE NEED DATA AND VOICE WORKING TOGETHER
WHO NEEDS A SPARK WHEN YOU CAN TALK AND SEND MMS, WHO NEEDS A SPARK WHEN YOU CAN USE GOOGLE MAPS AND NAVIGATE YOURS WHILE YOU TALK, WHO NEEDS A SPARK WHEN YOU CAN USE YOUR SKYDIVE, YOUR DROP BOX, YOUR FACEBOOK, YOUR WHATSAPP, KIK WHILE ON THE PHONE WHO NEEDS SPARK, WE WHERE DOING JUST FINE. SPRINT NEED TO WORK ON THERE CALL QULITY BEFORE THEY SPARK ANY ONE, TOO MY DROP CALLS. THE CEO OF SPRINT NEED TO FIRE THE PERSON WHO CAME UP WITH THIS SPARK BS
logons2
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logons2,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/14/2014 | 6:02:07 PM
YES WE DO NEED DATA AND TALK AT THE SAME TIME!!!!

WHO IN THERE RIGHT MIND CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA, WE ARE NOT IN THE STONE AGE ANYMORE, WE STOP USING FLIP PHONES, (NO OFFENES TO WHO DOES) WE ALL NEED TO MULTI-TASK I DO IT EVER DAY WHILE I AM AT WORK, I AM A FIELD TECH SO I NEED MY VOICE AND DATA SIRVICE TO BE WORKING AT ALL TIME MOST OF THE TIME IN THE FEEL WE COMMNICATE WITH EMAILS, NOW I CAN'T GET AN EMAIL WHILE I AM ON THE PHONE SAD I AM SWITCHING.  I HARDLY GET GOOD SIRVICE IN MY HOUSE, BUT I WAS A LOYAL COSTUMER TO SPRINT BUT NOT NO MORE THIS IS THE STREW THAT BROKE THE CAMELS BACK  I AM A MULTI-TASKER AND THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE, SPRINT JUST SHOT THERESELF IN THE LEG SPARK THIS!! SPRINT CRIPPLED THE S5

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