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What is EVDO?

EVDO is an acronym for "Evolution Data Only" or "Evolution Data Optimized" which is a standard for high speed wireless networks used for Broadband Internet connectivity. EVDO enables computer users to have high speed Internet access without the help of a hotspot. Just by inserting an EVDO card into the computer, users get connected to the Internet within seconds and have Net access at DSL-compatible speeds.

While traditional wireless networks assign a dedicated path between the source and destination for the entire duration of the call very similar to fixed-line telephone networks, EVDO transmits several users' data through a single channel using Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) as well as Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) to achieve higher throughput and better utilization of network bandwidth.

The standard underwent many revisions denoted as Rev. 0, Rev. A, and Rev. B and so on. Rev. 0 supports forward link speeds up to 2.4 Mbit/s. while Rev. A can go up to 3.1 Mbit/s. EVDO is part of the CDMA2000 family of standards and has been adopted by many service providers offering high speed broadband connectivity for mobile phone users through CDMA networks. It was developed by Qualcomm during the late 90s. Since the standard was a direct evolution from the 1xRTT standard which carried only data, it was initially called Evolution Data only. Later on, since the word 'only' seemed to add a negative connotation to the name, the name was switched to Evolution Data Optimized. Since the new name was more marketable and sounded more hi-tech, it stuck.

EVDO uses the current broadcast frequencies of existing CDMA networks which is a major advantage when compared to competing technologies which often require expensive hardware and software changes or upgrades to the network. Verizon and Sprint are the two major service providers in the US using EVDO. Verizon has implemented Rev. A throughout its network, and Sprint is rapidly catching up. While there is also a large presence of EVDO technology in Korea, it has made relatively no impact in Europe and countries in Asia which predominantly use the W-CDMA standard for high speed data access.

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