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Is it possible to have a 3G tethering session and receive an audio call at the same time? Is this the function of the phone or the mobile OS or the carrier-network?

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It depends:

  1. You are on a CDMA network (Verizon, Sprint) you can't call and use Internet at the same time (exepect if you use Internet over Wifi) - This is limitation of CDMA only networks
  2. You are on a GSM network (AT&T for US and almost all other operator worlwide excluding Asia). In this case if you have 3G connectivity you should be able to use 3G and call at the same time, if connectivity not 3G but only GRPS/EDGE you can't have a call and internet at the same time (because GPRS/EDGE use voice channel)
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+1 There's the problem! I probably keep getting switched between 3G and GPRS (crappy coverage), which explains why it would drop for me – Ivo Flipse Jul 15 '10 at 6:48
    
+1 thanks for the answer. We tested it and it seems that you can have 3G while having a voice call – gyurisc Jul 18 '10 at 21:21
    
Why exclude Asia. Most of the Asian countries have GSM networks and not CDMA. – Indika K Dec 11 '15 at 13:56

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