An EVDO antenna is an antenna through which data is transmitted and received along the Evolution-Data Optimized (EVDO) telecommunications standard. EVDO is a standard recognized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2), and is available from cellular providers that have adopted this family, as opposed to the other main set of standards which is known as Global System for Mobile communications (GSM). An EVDO antenna is primarily used for the transmission of broadband Internet data on cellular devices, as opposed to voice data.
EVDO technology was originally designed in 1998 by technology maker Qualcomm®, and at that time was known as EVDO Revision 0 (EVDO Rev. 0). Following its ratification by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), it was renamed 1x Evolution-Data Only (1xEV-DO). The 1x prefix has since been dropped by most providers, and despite several updates to the technology — including three major revisions since its inception — it is still marketed as EVDO.
The most current version of EVDO is known as EVDO Revision B (EVDO Rev. B), and was released commercially in November 2009. It features a number of enhancements over EVDO Rev. 0 and its direct predecessor, EVDO Rev. A. They both include higher potential upload and download speeds, decreased latency, increased talk and standby time, reduced interference and better support for file transfers, web browsing, and multimedia delivery. Virtually all EVDO devices are backward compatible with each previous revision.
With an EVDO antenna-equipped mobile device and appropriate cellular service, a user has the capability of accessing broadband-speed internet while simultaneously utilizing voice service. Download speeds can range upwards of 2.4 Megabits a second (Mbits/s) with EVDO Rev. A — and 14.7 Mbits/s with EVDO Rev. B — in optimum conditions, which, along with Internet Protocol (IP) network support, means advanced web-based applications can be used wirelessly. Such speeds, however, are reflective of ideal conditions, which may not always be available.
In cases where reception is not optimal, it is possible to implement an EVDO antenna booster, which is essentially a larger and more powerful antenna than what is contained in a mobile device, and can pull down a much stronger signal. EVDO antenna boosters can extend the range of coverage for a device, and improve upload and download speeds significantly. They typically plug directly into the phone and can be situated for the best reception in a similar manner to that of a conventional radio or television antenna.
Beyond their use in mobile phones, EVDO antennas are also used by other devices that use cellular technology for data access. Some satellite phone manufacturers, for instance, leverage EVDO for their phones' data connectivity. Increasingly, as EVDO speeds improve, cellular providers are also offering EVDO modems specifically designed for broadband access, using cellular networks.