Evolution Data Only or Evolution Data Optimized (EVDO) is a third-generation (3G) mobile broadband technology used by telecommunications networks and Internet service providers, such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint, to deliver wireless data and information for personal use to wireless phones and communications devices. 3G is a family of standards for mobile communications that includes GSM EDGE, WiMAX, and CDMA2000. This technology offers a wider application for both voice and data transmission, and touts higher speeds than its second-generation (2G) predecessor as well as the benefit of added security. EVDO speed depends largely upon the successful infrastructure of any given 3G network. A typical EVDO speed has the capability of reaching download rates of between 600 to 1400 kilobits per second (kbps) and upload speeds of 500 to 800 kbps.
EVDO provides a relatively high quality of wireless transmission at a low cost, thus making it an affordable and convenient alternative to individuals who need a full-time wireless connection away from home. Traditionally, faster connection speeds have relied upon a hardwired connection in order to maximize bandwidth and speed of transmission. Because EVDO speed is not dependent upon a hardwired network, its applications allow for widespread use among mobile devices. A special modem is required to establish an EVDO connection, as well as a specific EVDO account with a wireless provider.
Although wireless carriers employing EVDO regularly boast fast speeds, there are other variables that can interfere with transmission and reduce those speeds dramatically. Factors such as the distance of your device from the closest wireless access point or cell tower and network congestion can mean the difference between a great connection and a miserable one. Antenna boosters are available to increase EVDO speed which will maximize the connection substantially. These antennae are optional and will usually be an additional charge for the consumer.
Additionally, maximizing good EVDO speed will depend largely upon the network that you use. Keeping an eye on current reviews of the three major networks – Sprint, Verizon, and Alltel – will go a long way in demonstrating which are among the best reviewed for national and local coverage and which tend to fall somewhat short. While EVDO is exciting because it remains one of the best and fastest ways to connect wirelessly, reviews of the available networks at present are nevertheless mixed largely because the technology is still new. Many wireless carriers, however, are doing their best to build compatible networks to accommodate it.