The EVO fan blog Good and EVO is reporting that simultaneous voice calling and 3G data (SV-DO) is working on Sprint's HTC EVO 4G LTE. Some of you may be aware that unlike GSM carriers (e.g. AT&T), CDMA carriers (e.g. Sprint) are unable to serve voice and data over 3G simultaneously. So if you were on a CDMA device talking to someone, it would be impossible for you to connect to the internet. Verizon Wireless became one of the first CDMA carriers to offer both voice and data over its 3G networks when it launched the HTC Thunderbolt, early last year. However, Sprint customers wishing to use both voice and data at the same time would have to use 4G or Wi-Fi.
That is until now. If the reports from Good and EVO are accurate (and we have no reason to believe that they are not) Sprint's version of the HTC One X, the HTC EVO 4G LTE, does not drop 3G connectivity while on a voice call. A commenter on the G&E blog suggests that simultaneous voice and 3G data is also working on the LG Optimus Elite, apparently because the new Qualcomm chipset "separates the 1xRTT radio from EVDO".
If you have always used a CDMA device and never had a problem with restricted data access during voice calls, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. The usefulness of having data connectivity while on a voice call is not immediately apparent, but there are numerous use cases. For example, you may be on a call with a friend and you need to share your location, alternatively you may need to guide your friend to your location using a map, or you may just need to lookup some information. I was once talking to a friend and she wanted to know the number of a particular restaurant, so I put my headphones on, fired up my browser, and found the number for her. Of course since you will need to take your phone away from your face and ear, you will need some kind of Bluetooth headset or speaker solution before you can start surfing the web while on a call.
Suffice to say simultaneous voice and data over 3G is simply an added bonus without any real detriment. If you are a Sprint customer and want to surf the web over 3G while on a call, then the HTC EVO 4G LTE is the way to go.
Update: The LG Viper 4G and the aforementioned Optimus Elite are reportedly capable of SV-DO as well.