Huawei, China Telecom to trial EV-DO Rev B

Huawei Technologies said it will test cdma2000 1x EV-DO Rev B, the most advanced CDMA technology, with China Telecom later this year.

Launching what he said was the industry’s first commercial-ready EV-DO Rev B solution, Zhao Ming, president of Huawei’s CDMA and Wimax group, said a field trial with China Telecom would begin in late August.

Rev B can support a maximum downstream speed of 9.3 Mbps and upstream speed of 5.4Mbps.

It enables CDMA operators to deliver better quality broadband services in data-intensive, delay-sensitive applications such as VoIP, video telephony, multi-media and online gaming.

Currently CDMA operators – including China Telecom – use EV-DO Rev A, which is limited to 3.1Mbps downstream and 1.8Mbps upstream.

While many major CDMA operators including China Telecom have decided to ultimately migrate to LTE, EV-DO Rev B provides an interim solution.

Because the upgrade will be implemented in software only, it can extend the lifecycle of existing infrastructure, thus reducing cost and risk to mobile operators.

China Telecom’s plan to test EV-DO Rev B is driven by its need to meet the rapid growth of its 3G services and counter response to China Unicom and China Mobile on the race of speed.

China Telecom launched its 3G services in 122 cities across China on April 16. The operator extended its 3G network to 324 cities by mid-May, with plans to cover more than 500 cities nationwide by July. By the end of April, China Telecom had 34.71 million CDMA2000 users.

But whether or not China Telecom will upgrade its network to EV-DO Rev B will depend on the maturity of the technology and the availability of handsets, industry players said.

In addition to Huawei, vendors like ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent have also announced plans to provide EV-DO Rev B solution. Qualcomm is reportedly to launch its Rev B chipset by year-end, with handsets expected to be available in the market in middle of 2010.