Qualcomm promises 73.5 Mb/s wireless broadband by 2008

Qualcomm expects the third generation of EVDO wireless broadband solution to be commercialized within two years and offer substantially more bandwidth than today's DSL and cable broadband offerings: Professional EVDO solutions will reach 73.5 Mb/s while consumer solution may hit 14.7 Mb/s download speeds.

The requirements of the next generation of Internet applications, such as IPTV, has outgrown the capabilities of most the telecommunications and cable infrastructure in the US. And it turns out that wireless bandwidths are developing much faster than wired networks can be upgraded: Qualcomm today provided a first glimpse at its upcoming broadband technologies that are forecasted to surface in late 2007 and will be available to consumers in early 2008.

The currently available EVDO Rev. 0, which is offered for example through Verizon Wireless, delivers an average downlink of 400 - 700 kb/s and reaches "burst rates" of 2.0 Mb/s. EVDO Rev. A, scheduled to be available late this year or in early 2007, will improve to a maximum download speed of 3 Mb/s; Rev. B will support up to three simultaneous channels of 1.25 MHz and come in modems that are smaller and lighter than today's 0 devices, Qualcomm said. The technology offers a bandwidth of 4.9 Mb/s in each channel for a combined three-channel data speed of up to 14.7 Mbps on the downlink. "Extremely high-performance" services in professional solutions could support forward-link data rates of up to 73.5 Mb/s, the company said.

The additional bandwidth would increase the capability of wireless devices, and enable applications such as mobile TV or streaming music with a concurrent voice call, or conducting a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) conversation while simultaneously browsing the Internet or transmitting multimedia content over the network.

EVDO, which will be offered through wireless carriers using CDMA-based networks, competes with HSDPA, which will be offered by GSM operators. Qualcomm is involved in HSDPA as well and demonstrated in March the industry's first 7.2 Mb/s HSDPA mobile data calls - twice the speed of the fastest HSDPA devices shown until then. HSDPA network services as well as hardware are expected to become available within the coming months.