Verizon Says Goodbye to EV-DO

Verizon Wireless will likely phase out its EV-DO Rev. A 3G network in the next few years as its LTE network is ramped up. And that’s a phenomenon we’re likely to see worldwide.

Verizon CTO Tony Melone pointed out at Ericsson‘s Capital Markets Day that the faster and data-optimized LTE network, set to go commercial next year, will make the data-only Rev. A infrastructure redundant. Accordingly, Verizon is shifting its capex priorities to LTE and away from Rev. A upgrades, he said – it will work aggressively to get LTE rolled out quickly and widely as it can.

No need to worry about device obsolescence just quite yet: Voice traffic will continue to run on the carrier’s CDMA 1x network until at least 2018, Melone noted. And whatever sunset plan Verizon for EV-DO won’t be an abrupt one: The 3G and 4G networks will likely run in parallel for some time (Melone gave no timelines).

The EV-DO-to-LTE transition is a phenomenon that Ericsson CTO and Senior Vice President Hakan Eriksson said is inevitable. He said at the conference that by 2014, 90 percent of data traffic will run on LTE. Ten percent will run on EV-DO, while WiMAX will garner a mere 1 percent.

Eriksson also stressed that LTE is built for data “Carriers are not doing LTE to do another voice service – phones are not a target for LTE,” he said. “It’s 140mbps – who can talk that fast? Of course you can do VoIP once we have it.”

VoIP over LTE is included in release 7 of the GPPP standard. Eriksson said VoLTE is “better than Skype” in quality and cost structure.

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