Despite being lost in the hype surrounding LTE and faster versions of HSPA, CDMA EV-DO Rev. B is alive and well. While Verizon Wireless is skipping Rev. B and moving straight to LTE, a handful of operators globally may be deploying the multi-carrier upgrade to EV-DO Rev. A.
Indonesian operator Smart Telecom is introducing the world's first EV-DO Rev. B network using equipment from ZTE and Qualcomm. The network will be deployed in Bali Densapar in the first quarter with rollouts happening in Indonesia's major cities by the end of this year.
EV-DO Rev. B is supposed to triple the peak broadband data rate of the existing EV-DO Rev. A network with a software upgrade and carrier aggregation techniques, offering 9.3 Mbps in the downlink and 5.4 Mbps in the uplink. A subsequent Rev. B channel card upgrade is planned by Smart Telecom later this year to further increase the network's peak downlink speed to 14.7 Mbps.
Smart Telecom is charging $45 per month for unlimited broadband services. Customers who sign a one-year contract receive a Rev. B USB modem for free.
The CDMA Development Group reports that other CDMA operators have begun or finished commercial trials of Rev. B. These include Wana in Morocco, KDDI in Japan and China Telecom, whose subsidiary Beijing Telecom is in active commercial trials.
"Additionally, we confidentially know of at least six other operators who are actively seeking Rev. B devices across four frequency assignments," noted a CDG spokesman in an email message. In addition, the manufacturers committed to making Rev. B devices include AnyData, Huawei and ZTE, he said.
While several major CDMA operators are making the leap to LTE, those that don't have the spectrum to do so are moving to Rev. B, and a bigger market could materialize after LTE deployments to make these networks perform better where LTE isn't available. Verizon Wireless, it appears, is not going to be one of those operators though.
- see this RCR Wireless News article
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