EV-DO, the 3G wireless technology promoted by Qualcomm, is finally going to hit its stride this year. I fully expect Verizon, Qualcomm and others to make a lot of noise about the technology at the upcoming CTIA, which heads to the Big Easy this year. Expect Sprint to join the festivities as well, as it outlines its own vision of the 3G world. Verizon has been pretty aggressive in rolling out its network – nearly 30 cities so far, and by end of the year it would offer the high-speed service to most of its subscribers.
In an interview with Telephony, Sprint VP of Technology Oliver Valente said that the carrier was going to be deploying EV-DO in its 3G networks, and would bank on future revisions of the technology to offer services like end-to-end VoIP calling. The company will do upgrades later in 2006 and 2007. In December 2004, Sprint announced that it was going to spend $3 billion on 3G network and will buy gear from Nortel, Lucent and Motorola. Some reports indicate that the Sprint EV-DO tests have already begun in three US cities.
Sprint’s decision basically puts an end to EV-DV, a competing technology. Reports out of South Korea say that Qualcomm is not doing any new development on EV-DV technologies and not making chipsets for that business. The Feature postulates that EV-DV might be dying on the vine, as carriers are opting for the more popular and affordable EV-DO networks. (Death of EV-DV is bad news for Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics, which had been pushing hard in the EV-DV space.)
EV-DO is finally hitting its stride, making me wonder why I signed up for AT&T Wireless. Too late for recriminations!