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