A cellular phone that uses evolution data optimized (EVDO) wireless broadband technology is called an EVDO phone. EVDO, also known as evolution data only, is used for the data transmission between a cell phone and a transmission tower. It is used for accessing email and web browsing on a cell phone. EVDO technology does not process voice transmissions.
The most popular wireless networks include the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). EVDO runs on CDMA networks. While CDMA is available from the majority of United States cell phone providers, GSM remains more popular in the rest of the world. EVDO phones are readily available in the United States, Canada, and Japan, but are less popular in other parts of the world, including Europe.
EVDO availability changes as often as technology is updated. Not all cell phones on CDMA networks will pick up EVDO service when it becomes available. Each device must be EVDO-compatible to work on the system. Some users may need to purchase an upgraded EVDO phone if EVDO becomes available on the network.
The advantages of an EVDO phone include faster connection, download, and upload speeds compared to phones without this technology. To achieve these high speeds, EVDO technology breaks data into small pieces called packets. Each packet then travels separately through the network using the fastest route available. These information packets are then reassembled at the destination point.
Speed is essential when downloading large amounts of data using a cell phone. With its upgraded speed, an EVDO phone is well-suited to support mobile broadband applications such as music downloads, downloading large email attachments, and video streaming. An EVDO phone's speed will be limited in areas where digital EVDO service is not available.
Some EVDO phones can also be connected to a laptop to enable wireless web surfing from the laptop. This practice is known as tethering. Software may need to be downloaded to the computer to enable tethering. When tethered to a computer, an EDVO phone acts as a modem. Tethering usually incurs an additional fee charged by the wireless service provider.
Like most current technology, EVDO continues to evolve to provide better, faster service. As of October 2009, the most current version of EDVO was EVDO Rev. A. As wireless providers offer more robust services, the networks used to deliver them, such as EVDO, will most likely be upgraded as well.