Verizon's EV-DOn't

Verizon Wireless has put the brakes on implementing fast, data-only CDMA EV-DO networks because of spectrum concerns, according to company CEO Dennis Strigl.

Strigl, speaking to investors at a Lehman Brothers' telecom conference in Florida, says that although Verizon's EV-DO trials have been successful, he won't be jumping into implementing the technology anytime soon.

"It causes the carrier to use spectrum for data-only," Stringl explains. "And I'm not sure that in today's spectrum deficient environment that's something that is sustainable long-term."

Verizon's decision is not good news for supporters of EV-DO, particularly startups like Airvana Inc., which was involved in Verizon's EV-DO trials (see Trying to Do the DO). In its own tests, Airvana found that EV-DO offered real world data transfer speeds of between 300 to 500 kbit/s, compared to 40 to 60 kbit/s for CDMA 1xRTT.

However, higher data rates mean more bandwidth, even for CDMA systems that are widely acknowledged to be more spectrally efficient than their GSM/GPRS rivals. So Strigl says that Verizon will concentrate on building out and beefing up its 1xRTT service.

And Strigl is still expecting to hit a capacity wall with 1xRTT eventually. "In a year and a half or two years from now we'll need more spectrum," he says.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
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