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Verizon iPhone 5’s Lack of Simultaneous Voice & Data a Deal Breaker



The Verizon variant of Apple’s iPhone 5 won’t support simultaneous voice calling and data transmission.  While some users don’t care about this limitation, this is a deal breaker for others, including myself.

The people who should be most concerned about this limitation are those that actually talk a lot to others. Verizon customers on the 450-minute individual plan probably don’t have much to worry about. But Verizon’s pushing customers towards its Share Everything plans, which feature unlimited talk and access to the iPhone 5’s mobile hotspot feature at no additional charge.

Verizon’s other 4G LTE phones already support simultaneous voice and data. Many expected the iPhone 5 to have the same functionality, but Verizon killed all hope for the feature by stating:

“The iPhone 5 was designed to allow customers to place a voice call on the Verizon Wireless network, while letting customers access the Internet over the WiFi.”

iPhone 5

Relying on Wi-Fi to access the Internet on calls may be ok while you’re at home or at work, but this isn’t a good solution for mobile professionals and many others.

The limitation means users are going to be able to do more with their iPhones than ever before thanks to the supercharged data speeds. But they won’t be able to quickly look up information on the Web and in apps while talking to others. They won’t be able to use the iPhone 5’s mobile hotspot function to get your laptop online while on a conference call. Verizon customers won’t be able to talk on the iPhone 5 while getting directions or navigating with the iPhone 5.

Verizon is missing out on a golden opportunity here since this is the first time many AT&T customers will have the chance to switch carriers without paying any more than sticking with what used to be the sole iPhone carrier. AT&T isn’t being so generous with early upgrade discounts, which means it’s actually cheaper for many iPhone 4S owners to pay an earlier termination fee and buy a fully subsidized iPhone 5 from Verizon. Unfortunately for Verizon, many AT&T customers are accustomed to simultaneous voice and data.

Screen Shot 2012-09-14 at 1.02.43 AM


The iPhone 5 is now available for pre-order from Apple, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. The carriers are still promising September 21 deliveries for those who pre-order now, but Apple appears to have sold out of its first batch of iPhone 5s. Apple is now offering the iPhone 5 with a two-week delivery estimate.



  1. TPM50

    09/14/2012 at 3:06 am

    I don’t think it’s Verizon’s problem Apple knows full well what Verizons system is, it’s up to Apple to produce a phone that works on all systems or they can go screw.

    • Bryan

      09/14/2012 at 3:52 am

      It’s Verizon’s network limitations. Apple has no control over that.

      • walrusg

        09/14/2012 at 5:58 am

        My Galaxy S3 does data/voice at the same time. So did my Bionic. It’s not the network. Data is LTE, voice is CDMA, the device has to be able to do both at the same time.

      • Sha52

        09/25/2012 at 4:23 am

        That’s not correct. Verizon and Sprint’s CDMA 3G don’t have simultaneous talk and surf, but their 4G LTE is GSM-based and does support simultaneous talk and surf. Apple just did not want to make the iPhone a little longer or wider to put a third antenna that would then enable simultaneous talk and surf when the user is on 4G LTE. All other 4G LTE devices that Sprint and Verizon sell have simultaneous talk and surf over 4G LTE. Apple did not adapted the iPhone to work well with the CDMA ecosystem’s, and they are without any legitimate excuse.

        Buy an Android and enjoy the extra features until Apple gets it right. I stayed away from buying macs for a long time until Apple surpassed other manufacturers in hardware to justify the price they asked for. You can do the same.

        Write about your disappointment to but I don’t think Apple will ever enable this feature on future CDMA iPhones because they want to save space and wait until CDMA is completely replaced by 4G LTE so that voice also goes over it via voice over LTE (VoLTE). Then talk and surf will be innately enabled, but CDMA iPhone users will have to suffer for many years until we get there.

      • Manny

        01/04/2013 at 8:05 am

        Not true. All apple had to do was put two different antennas in the phone to access Verizon’s voice and data networks seperately. The same way the Samsung did with the galaxy sIII. That’s ok with me though. I have att

  2. Apple Expert

    09/14/2012 at 7:51 am

    The reason that the iPhone 5 doesn’t do simultaneous voice/data is because it only has one chipset in it, so the phone will only communicate with one network at a time (CDMA, LTE, HSPA, etc). Today LTE only supports data. So, if an AT&T customer is in an LTE network area, they WILL NOT have simultaneous voice and data either. Interesting tidbit.

    • Apple

      09/15/2012 at 2:03 pm

      That is actually incorrect. ATT will always have simultaneous voice and data, even in an LTE area. The chip will connect to the 3G network while talking which also supports data as it always has. So you will get voice and data, just not at 4G speeds. I’m just hoping Verizon rolls out voice over 4G soon and solves this problem.

    • Manny

      01/04/2013 at 8:09 am

      Sorry but you are incorrect. Att always has simultaneous data and voice. You are right that LTE only supports data but that does t matter cause the voice call uses the 3G/4g coverage to achieve both at the same time at all times. If what you are saying was even remotely true, which its not, then when att was on LTE we could NEVER make a voice call!

  3. Wireless Expert

    09/17/2012 at 2:25 pm

    Thta is actual incorrect too. VZW 4G LTE supports voice (like VOIP) and data to get more transmissions per channel. With LTE, all communications is via an Internet protocol using IPv4 and eventually IPv6. The limitation is Apple. If Steve was around this would not have happened.

    • dgfontes

      09/18/2012 at 2:59 pm

      Apple user is correct, Wireless Expert is partially correct. Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network supports voice and data over, but it’s not implemented (under production) yet. It means they use CDMA network to pass voice and LTE to pass data. In order to Apple support it, they’d have to re-engineer a dedicated device for Verizon (maybe Sprint too) in order to allow them to use simultaneous voice and data over 4G network that, nowadays, means to have an additional antenna to accomplish. That’s how other vendors does, but Apple decide to go with a single antenna design, consuming less battery. Sooner than later (hopefully), Verizon will start rolling out voice over their 4G LTE network to overcome this current limitation.

      It would been, IMHO, a waste of resources to develop an exclusive device just because one or some of the carriers that uses CDMA for voice didn’t start using their 4G LTE network for voice too.

  4. billshepp

    09/20/2012 at 10:01 am

    Wow, that’s a big deal. Consider using the phone as a mobile hotspot, whenever a call comes in you lose your data connectivity. Big fail.

  5. cschwartz

    09/22/2012 at 7:47 pm

    so the question is will version fix the problem or wait for the Iphone 5 S to come out and that will fix the problem. or ignore the problem that is the answer i am looking for

  6. Sha52

    09/25/2012 at 4:13 am

    Apple: You have no excuse this time for creating crippled CDMA iPhone 5. Apple, you should have made the screen wider to leave room for a third antenna that enables simultaneous talk and surf. Suppose mapping system needs to re-route at a critical road and user receives an important call.

    Should the user have to struggle to decide about answering the call and thus cutting off the data from the map and thus get lost or reject an important call and let the mapping app do its job by staying connected to data? And there are many other examples of the lack of simultaneous talk and surf. So many new buyers will be disappointed to find out that their iPhone 5’s will not have simultaneous talk and surf.

    Apple, didn’t you and AT&T use to make commercials mocking Verizon for not having simultaneous talk and surf? So now, HTC and Samsung must pay you back with the same mockery to point out your products major and fatal weakness! You never adapted the iPhone well for the CDMA ecosystem. Ahh! I am sick and tired of waiting for Apple to catch up to make the iPhone with this killer feature. I will just stay with Android!

  7. Michael

    10/12/2012 at 4:02 pm

    Blah blah blah blah, everyone’s an expert but Ive yet to see anyone use a phone as the author of this email exhibits. My guess is Xavier is nothing but a tech elitist wannabe

  8. realphan

    10/17/2012 at 2:09 pm

    OK….so CDMA is on its way out, and the UBER SMART people here, think that Apple should REDESIGN their entire iPHONE line to be able to fit an antenna that for all intents and purposes will be obsolete in about a year as MORE and MORE LTE networks roll out? Remind me NEVER to ask any of you to do construction on my house! “What? You don’t have a USB2.0 port installed on your back porch? Well, lets just bust up your walls and run cables for USB 2.0 up through your beautiful house so you can then have tech from 10 years ago!” ….yeah no thanks!

    Also, I am POSITIVE that this is probably related to some battery issue as well. All those FANDROIDS were crying when the 3Gs came out and didn’t have LTE, then they were running back to their power chargers since LTE poorly implemented on their droids was (and still is in a lot of cases) DRAINING THEIR BATTERY!

  9. wireless pro

    11/27/2012 at 8:34 am

    CDMA is a dinosaur. The entire world uses GSM, like AT&T and T-Mobile.
    Verizon and Sprint phones won’t work overseas either. CDMA is the same
    system that’s been around since the ’90’s when AT&T was using TDMA. LTE
    is a GSM system, why you get the simultaneous voice and data on AT&T. ANY manufacturer who makes a CDMA phone is making it only for Verizon or Sprint. An iPhone from Europe is the same as an AT&T iPhone. If Verizon and Sprint had 21st century technology this wouldn’t be an issue. Apple has to make a phone for Verizon and Sprint that will only
    work with them and is completely diffferent from every other iPhone they make for the rest of the world. T-Mobile already has 5 cities available so unlocked iPhones will work on 3G on T-Mobile. Next year
    their LTE system will be operational on their 1700 MHZ frequency and the iPhone 5 will be available from T-Mobile as well. AT&T uses the 1900
    MHZ frequency which is what T-Mobile is in the process of switching it’s current 4G HSPA+ system to so that unlocked iPhones will work on
    3G on T-Mobile. For Apple it will only mean adding the additional 1700
    MHZ frequency to the iPhone 5. Nothing like CDMA, no extra antenna inside, etc. And T-Mobile by far has the best rate plans of the 4
    companies in addition to a much less expensive unlimited data plan
    then Sprint. And unlike AT&T the unlimited data will not disappear
    once LTE is available.

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