Sprint iPhone Hotspot and Calls Question

Trogdor796

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 21, 2015
108
71
Okay, so at my work we have someone that pretty much needs a portable hotspot with them out in the field. We'd rather use a phone's hotspot instead of a dedicated hotspot device, for convenience and cost.

Currently they have a Galaxy S6. With the hotspot enabled, whenever they receive a phone call(not answer it, receive it) it cuts out the hotspot. I tried putting the phone in Do Not Disturb, but all this does is silence the call.
I tested on my personal iPhone 6+ with Verizon. When in Do Not Disturb it sends the call straight to voicemail, no call pops up on the screen at all. However, I don't have the hotspot feature.

Essentially, what I need to know is this. Can anyone using an iPhone on the Sprint network with the hotspot feature, tell me if you can use the hotspot without calls cutting it off? Can you do this using Do Not Disturb? Does it matter if you are on 3G or 4G? Someone else here says their sister who has an AT&T iPhone is able to talk on the phone and use the hotspot at the same time.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,107
14,832
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Okay, so at my work we have someone that pretty much needs a portable hotspot with them out in the field. We'd rather use a phone's hotspot instead of a dedicated hotspot device, for convenience and cost.

Currently they have a Galaxy S6. With the hotspot enabled, whenever they receive a phone call(not answer it, receive it) it cuts out the hotspot. I tried putting the phone in Do Not Disturb, but all this does is silence the call.
I tested on my personal iPhone 6+ with Verizon. When in Do Not Disturb it sends the call straight to voicemail, no call pops up on the screen at all. However, I don't have the hotspot feature.

Essentially, what I need to know is this. Can anyone using an iPhone on the Sprint network with the hotspot feature, tell me if you can use the hotspot without calls cutting it off? Can you do this using Do Not Disturb? Does it matter if you are on 3G or 4G? Someone else here says their sister who has an AT&T iPhone is able to talk on the phone and use the hotspot at the same time.
Currently Sprint, which is a CDMA carrier, is unable to do voice and data at the same time.

Which means that no matter what you do you will be unable to prevent this.

AT&T, which is GSM, is able to do this because it's GSM. CDMA carriers (such as Verizon and Sprint) have to have separate radios to handle voice/data at the same time. The two types, CDMA and GSM, handle cellular connections and transmit/receive very differently.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Does it matter if you are on 3G or 4G?
For Sprint, it does matter, and in more ways than you think. On Sprint's 3G network, as eyoungren said, it's voice or data, but not both at the same time. On 4G, if Sprint used Voice over LTE (VoLTE), you would be able to use both voice and data at the same time.

But there's the rub: Sprint has not deployed VoLTE yet. So for now, it doesn't matter if you're on 3G or 4G. If you're on 4G and get a call, the phone drops to 3G to be able to answer the call, and you lose your data connection.

If and when they do deploy VoLTE, the situation should change. But you'll still need to be on 4G.

Someone else here says their sister who has an AT&T iPhone is able to talk on the phone and use the hotspot at the same time.
As eyoungren noted, AT&T is a GSM based carrier. Both 3G and 4G on their network can do voice and data at the same time. The same is true for T-Mobile.

On Verizon, if you have Enhanced Calling 1.0 and are in a 4G coverage area, you should also be able to use voice and data at the same time if enabled on your phone.

Can anyone using an iPhone on the Sprint network with the hotspot feature, tell me if you can use the hotspot without calls cutting it off?
I don't have an iPhone on Sprint, but I'm pretty sure what you're trying to do won't work, unfortunately. Do Not Disturb on the iPhone is an iOS feature, not a network-based feature. In other words: the call still has to be routed to the user's phone, and the subsequent network drop to 3G will still have to happen, before the phone can make a decision on what to do with the call (accept it because it's on a whitelist, or reject it). So, the data connection will still drop, even though the phone won't ring.

The only way to get around this is to have the user activate call forwarding to divert calls to another line (call forwarding IS a network level service, unlike iOS Do not Disturb), wait until VoLTE is launched on Sprint (no time frame at this point), or switch carriers.

Also, beware: Sprint is unique in that they charge $.20 per minute to forward calls.
 
Last edited:

Trogdor796

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 21, 2015
108
71
Thanks for the info guys, appreciate it.

So essentially on sprint there is no way to make this work currently, and if he doesn't want his hotspot dropped the best way to avoid this would be to have a dedicated hotspot device? It should also be noted that due to the area we are in I believe with Sprint his phone is on 3G a lot of the time.

I was just curious if this might work on an iPhone, as I saw the call was going straight to voicemail, as opposed to still ringing and appearing on the Galaxy S6(DnD just silences it on there...). I figured maybe the call wasn't even registering on the iPhone but it makes sense like you guys said that it's just an iOS feature, and the call is still routed to the phone.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,107
14,832
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Thanks for the info guys, appreciate it.

So essentially on sprint there is no way to make this work currently, and if he doesn't want his hotspot dropped the best way to avoid this would be to have a dedicated hotspot device? It should also be noted that due to the area we are in I believe with Sprint his phone is on 3G a lot of the time.

I was just curious if this might work on an iPhone, as I saw the call was going straight to voicemail, as opposed to still ringing and appearing on the Galaxy S6(DnD just silences it on there...). I figured maybe the call wasn't even registering on the iPhone but it makes sense like you guys said that it's just an iOS feature, and the call is still routed to the phone.
Yes, a dedicated hotspot would be the best way to avoid drops when calls come in. As mentioned, he could in a superb Spark market and this would still happen. It's just down to the fact that Sprint does not currently do voice/data concurrently.

Other phones might handle it better, but if you get a voice call with a Sprint iPhone using a hotspot it will take the call (even if it goes to VM) and drop the data connection.
 

theshoehorn

macrumors 6502
Jul 6, 2010
439
381
I'm in an AT&T non VoLTE area, I've noticed that while I can still do data on my hotspot when a call comes, there is a momentary "freeze" while my iPhone switches from LTE to HSPA+.

Just a note that unless it's VoLTE it's not completely uninterrupted. Still works though after a couple seconds!!
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,107
14,832
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I'm in an AT&T non VoLTE area, I've noticed that while I can still do data on my hotspot when a call comes, there is a momentary "freeze" while my iPhone switches from LTE to HSPA+.

Just a note that unless it's VoLTE it's not completely uninterrupted. Still works though after a couple seconds!!
That's the difference between GSM and CDMA. GSM splits the signal up, waits for a response and then transmits again. It alternates back and forth. So both data and voice can be utilized in this manner.

CDMA sends everything at once, grabs everything at once and repeats. So, if it's busy sending or receiving data it will drop if it gets a call.

That's a real simplified overview of it, but it's pretty much what happens.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
I'm in an AT&T non VoLTE area, I've noticed that while I can still do data on my hotspot when a call comes, there is a momentary "freeze" while my iPhone switches from LTE to HSPA+.

Just a note that unless it's VoLTE it's not completely uninterrupted. Still works though after a couple seconds!!
Yeah, the 4G to FauxG transition is still a bit kludgey, as it's a hard handoff: switching from one air interface (and radio) to another. But although the ride is bumpy, at least it doesn't come to a complete halt. :)
 

ZebraDude

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2014
1,152
537
Naperville, IL
Thanks for the info guys, appreciate it.

So essentially on sprint there is no way to make this work currently, and if he doesn't want his hotspot dropped the best way to avoid this would be to have a dedicated hotspot device? It should also be noted that due to the area we are in I believe with Sprint his phone is on 3G a lot of the time.

I was just curious if this might work on an iPhone, as I saw the call was going straight to voicemail, as opposed to still ringing and appearing on the Galaxy S6(DnD just silences it on there...). I figured maybe the call wasn't even registering on the iPhone but it makes sense like you guys said that it's just an iOS feature, and the call is still routed to the phone.
Well just to make this thread more confusing! Sprint does have SVDO on 3G with android and dumb phones only!

SVDO allows Simultaneous voice and data on 3G only (no LTE)

:p
 

Trogdor796

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 21, 2015
108
71
Well just to make this thread more confusing! Sprint does have SVDO on 3G with android and dumb phones only!

SVDO allows Simultaneous voice and data on 3G only (no LTE)

:p
What is SVDO? I'm even more confused now on what you said about android.
The person at work using the hotspot currently has a Samsung Galaxy S6, and when on 3G is still cuts out the hotspot when he receives a phone call.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.