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Wireless broadband networks: EV-DO, HSDPA, and new applications

Broadband everywhere! New data technologies from major carriers will deliver over 1 Mb/s to mobile phone handsets and laptop computers in major metropolitan areas across the United States by the end of 2006. The ability to tap into a fast, low-latency network is changing the way people do business and causing a few developers to rethink their applications for an always-on broadband connected user with constant access to his or her personal device.

EV-DO is a high-speed data technology currently deployed by CDMA carriers in major markets. The latest version of EV-DO, revision A, promises up download speeds up to 3.1 Mb/s, upload speeds as fast as 1.8 Mb/s, and latency as low as 50ms. This low latency makes VoIP and video chat a reality over cellular-based networks. EV-DO is available through Sprint branded as Mobile Broadband for laptops or PowerVision for phone handsets. EV-DO is also available through Verizon Wireless branded as BroadbandAccess for laptops or V Cast for phone handsets.

HSDPA is a competing standard for GSM networks. It is capable of download speeds up to 3.6 Mb/s and uploads of 384 Kb/s. HSDPA allows simultaneous voice and data and can downgrade to older UMTS when a newer network is not available. Cingular brands their HSDPA offering as BroadbandConnect.

What would you do with a 1 Mb/s always-on connection in your pocket, on your laptop, or any other device? Om and I talk discuss current offerings from major U.S. carriers as well as some of the applications that are already taking advantage of these new ubiquitous broadband connections.

This week's podcast, Wireless broadband, is 22 minutes long, a 10 MB download.


Firstly, keep up the effort with the Podsessions - I'm an avid lister! However, please please could you start tagging the MP3 file again as you used to? It's very easy to "lose" a Podcast that hasn't been tagged properly (or consistently with previous podcasts) once it has been downloaded to an MP3 player where the tags are the main means of finding the files. Many thanks for the show.