EV-DO Hits Europe

Europe has received its first taste of third-generation CDMA technology with the official launch today of an EV-DO service using the 450MHz spectrum band (see Eurotel, Nortel Tout EV-DO 450).

Czech carrier Eurotel Praha spol. s.r.o. has unveiled its EV-DO (evolution, data only) network at 450 MHz that will offer data services of between 300 and 500 kbit/s. As well as being Europe’s first EV-DO launch, the network also marks the first time EV-DO services have been available anywhere in the 450MHz band.

Deployed in frequency bands previously hosting analog Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) cellular systems, CDMA 450 belongs to the CDMA 2000 family of technologies. All previous CDMA 450 launches have involved the slower 1x RTT standard (see CDMA 450 Seeps Into Europe and CDMA 450 Flows Into Norway).

Today’s launch will be a relief for Eurotel in light of recent high-profile management conflicts that have delayed the service, deployed by Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). (See Eurotel CEO Resigns and Eurotel Picks Nortel.)

The service is targeting both consumer and business customers within Eurotel’s 4.3 million subscriber base, and is priced at a flat monthly fee of CZK 899 (US$34).

Meanwhile Romania’s Zapp Mobile looks set to be the second carrier to jump on the CDMA 450 EV-DO bandwagon, having previously announced plans for a third-quarter launch this year.

— Evolution Justin-Only Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung
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