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An EVDO laptop computer is a laptop that comes equipped with the capacity to connect to the EVDO network. EVDO is an acronym for Evolution Data Only or Evolution Data Optimized network. This is a network similar to a cellular phone network that allows broadband Internet access anywhere with an EVDO-equipped device. Users with an EVDO laptop will be able to sign on to the network from their laptops without installing additional software or purchasing additional peripherals.
The EVDO network is a wireless network offered in the United States by Alltel Wireless, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint PCS. The network provides data transfer speeds from 600 KB to 1400 KB per second as of 2009, while upload speeds range from 500 KB to 800 KB per second. The network can be accessed by all EVDO-equipped devices, including laptops, from anywhere a cellular signal can be found. A standard modem cannot access an EVDO laptop; an EVDO modem is required.
Many EVDO devices require a separate modem to access the network. EVDO modems can be USB, PCMCIA, or external. Phones and other devices can also be equipped with the ability to access the network. An EVDO-equipped modem can be purchased separately to allow non-EVDO equipped devices to access the network, however EVDO laptops have an EVDO modem built in so no additional equipment is required.
Most laptops generally have built-in modems to connect to WiFi networks. EVDO laptops have a similar ability to connect automatically to the EVDO network and to receive data signals from this network. Unlike WiFi, the network is much larger since it does not rely on the availability of wireless Internet access.
As of 2009, EVDO service is not free. Users with an EVDO laptop who want to access the service will need to purchase an account. Both Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless offer EVDO accounts for a monthly fee. Users who purchase the accounts are limited to a certain amount of data each month. The data allowance is five megabytes per month.