Verizon Wireless to move on from CDMA

We’ve long been a fan of CDMA technology. Yeah, it has its drawbacks, like phones that can’t be unlocked and things like that. But overall, we feel it provides superior quality, both in voice and data, over GSM. It appears, though, that Verizon Communications and Vodafone, joint owners of Verizon Wireless, are set to move on to the next big thing in wireless technology: Long Term Evolution (LTE). According to representatives from the companies, this will put them on the long-sought path to 4G.

[Vodafone CEO Arun] Sarin laid out a path toward LTE evolution within the next three to four years. Vodafone relies on GSM- and HSPA-based technology for wireless high-speed data access in its properties abroad, while Verizon Wireless—45% owned by Vodafone—is a CDMA operator whose most recent network upgrade has been to EV-DO Revision A.
Three to four years seems like quite a short time to lay out a new technological foundation. It’ll probably be more like five years, but even so, it sounds like this could be a major evolution. We have few details of exactly how LTE will work, so you’ll have to forgive us if we lack speculation at this time. There’s always the opportunity for a feature-length piece, though, once we nail down some more research on the topic. Vodafone and Verizon also discussed joint trials of WiMAX networks, which we think would be just grand. We absolutely love that these companies are ready to improve on existing technology. Yes, they surely have ulterior motives (i.e., lining their pockets), but if it benefits us, we’re for it. The news isn’t all good regarding LTE, though.
The news marks a serious setback for CDMA backers, as Verizon Wireless is one of the world’s largest supporters of the technology. Indeed, the news puts Ultra Mobile Broadband—which is Rev. C on the CDMA network-upgrade path—into question, as no operator has yet publicly voiced intentions to move toward the technology.
Why would you be a CDMA backer if a better technology is on the horizon. Yeah, we’d love to see Rev. C, but if we have to sacrifice it for long-term benefits, well, that’s an obvious choice. At least to us. [RCR Wireless News]]]>

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