Trying to Do the DO
So when Unstrung got on the phone with Paul Sergeant, VP of product marketing at the networking infrastructure equipment startup, we wanted numbers -- data rate transfer numbers to be precise.
From the carrier trials Airvana is doing with the likes of Verizon Wireless, as well as the experience of running its own network, Sergeant reckons a fully loaded EV-DO (that's "data only") will deliver data transfer rates of between 300 kbit/s and 500 kbit/s.
Which isn't too shabby at all. The newest networks online in the U.S. -- GPRS and CDMA 1xRTT -- can download applications at speeds of 20 kbit/s to 70 kbit/s for 1x [ed note: Yeah, we know they say 144 kbit/s tops, but we're talking real world here].
Airvana is building all-IP radio access networks and claims that taking an all-IP approach has two major benefits. With a pure IP backhaul network, a customer can take advantage of a traditional ATM setup, reducing the cost of implementing the network. Also, because Airvana's technology does not touch the voice network, the company envisages its use in conjunction with an existing network, even one with a different air interface.
So the signs look alright for Airvana -- big trials, a partnership with Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and a stoopid name. But we're still wondering when its equipment will be used in anger.
"Right now, nobody is using our system," Sergeant concedes.
We asked Verizon how far along it is with the EV-DO trials, but it's not revealing anything. "Nothing is imminent," says a company spokesperson helpfully.
— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung www.unstrung.com