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CDMA EV-DO versus WCDMA in the U.S.

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Nov-2006 21:12

This is an interesting topic. It may not be something our Europeans readers worry about, but it is certainly an interesting topic for New Zealanders, Australians and North Americans (U.S mainly)-based users of mobile technologies.

I am talking about the CDMA EV-DO versus WCDMA debate. While GSM (and its evolutionary path GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA (a.k.a UMTS), HSDPA) is the dominant mobile technology in Europe, other regions see a balance of forces between GSM and CDMA technologies (here represented by CDMA 1xRTT, 1xEV-DO Rev 0, 1xEV-DO Rev A).

In New Zealand for example, the situation is almost a 50/50 split in number of users of each of those two technologies, although in terms of 3G coverage CDMA (Telecom New Zealand) has a bit more than GSM (Vodafone New Zealand).

I just finished reading a guest post by Chetan Sharma, on Om Malik's blog about EV-DO vs WCDMA in the U.S. and here is an interesting bit:

In terms of network coverage, even though Cingular (then AT&T Wireless) got a head start with its ceremonial UMTS deployment in four markets, Verizon and Sprint Nextel have jumped much further ahead in terms of national coverage. While Cingular has only covered 52 major markets in 28 states (just over 50% market) thus far, both Verizon and Sprint are nearing complete nation-wide coverage. T-Mobile won’t get into the picture until well into 2007. Alltel, the number 5 carrier in the US has been spreading its EV-DO coverage as well.

In the critical area of handsets, EV-DO is ahead by a mile. As of Sept 2006, there were 15 3G handsets available in the market (representing approximately 20% of the available handsets from big four), Fourteen of those handsets were for EV-DO (10 from Verizon, 4 from Sprint Nextel) vs. five UMTS/HSDPA 6handsets from Cingular.



Wow... How different from down under. Here in good old New Zealand is the opposite in terms of handsets. Everyone I know (or post in our Geekzone forums), complain that Telecom New Zealand's handsets are not "sexy" enough to attract the youger crowd, and not interesting enough to attract the older people.

By the way, a current joke on Geekzone is about a MSM journalist who wrote an article about Telecom New Zealand (a CDMA operator) planning to migrate to "Wireless CDMA" (his version of WCDMA). As if there would be any other type of CDMA...




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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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