CDMA still has legs thanks to its widespread deployment in markets worldwide, and Nokia Siemens Networks is touting a new EV-DO Advanced offering for CDMA operators that need to upgrade their network's data capacity to keep up with demand.
NSN announced that its EV-DO Advanced software is available commercially and being rolled out by what it said is a leading operator. The software-only upgrade increases data capacity by up to 40 percent in loaded cells, said NSN.
EV-DO Advanced delivers higher data rates than EV-DO as well as prioritizes and allocates bandwidth better to improve overall network efficiency. These improvements also enhance mobile device performance and extend battery life. The EV-DO Advanced upgrade is compatible with existing Rev. A devices.
"We are fully focused on technologies that enable a superior mobile broadband experience, and EV-DO Advanced is one such development. It is a major driver of CDMA evolution and adding this to our portfolio reflects our strong commitment to the technology standard," said Scott Mottonen, head of NSN's CDMA/LTE business line. "By dynamically adding network capacity where and when it is needed through an incremental, selective and cost-effective upgrade, EV-DO Advanced addresses growing demand for data."
NSN has been expanding its CDMA product portfolio. In December 2011, the company announced its launch of 1X Advanced technology, which can triple existing base station capacity when fully implemented.
Though top operators such as Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) are migrating from CDMA to LTE, the older CDMA technology is expected to continue serving customers for years and maintains a strong global footprint, leading operators to continue upgrading their legacy CDMA networks in order to boost capacity and extend equipment life. MetroPCS, which had intended to skip EV-DO entirely and migrate directly to LTE, said last September that it was rolling out EV-DO to about 20 percent of its sites in order to keep up with data demand generated by the rapid adoption of CDMA-equipped Android devices.
However, CDMA's evolutionary path is far from clear cut. Operators can deploy 1x Advanced if they simply want to bolster voice capacity or they can upgrade to EV-DO Advanced and EV-DO Rev. B to boost data capacity and make data transmission more efficient. Further, operators can pick and choose to deploy features from each of the standardized enhancements.
Though EV-DO Advanced offers operators a way to improve network performance via a software upgrade, it does not address peak download speeds. The upgrade does, however, improve overall network capacity and latency through techniques such as network load balancing, smart carrier management, enhanced connection management, adaptive frequency reuse and single-carrier multilink.
Some EV-DO Advanced features are embedded in the device, not in the infrastructure, noted NSN. Those include enhanced equalizers--which take advantage of uneven loading traffic to significantly increase cell-edge data throughput--and mobile transmit diversity--wherein the mobile device uses an additional antenna to increase reverse-link sector capacity and improve user data rates at the cell edge.
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