What is an EVDO Modem?

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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
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  • Last Modified Date: 10 August 2019
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An EVDO, or Enhanced Data Only or Evolution Data Optimized, modem is a device that helps carry mobile broadband. An EVDO modem can be a mobile SimCard, a USB device, a modem built into a laptop, or an external modem. The EVDO modem provides the ability to pick up EVDO signals, allowing users to connect to EVDO service providers.

These modems are wireless devices. They are inactive and inoperable unless you subscribe to a service provider that offers an EVDO connection. When you subscribe to a service provider, the EVDO modem receives a signal from the service provider so your device can connect to the internet.

The major difference between an EVDO modem and an ordinary modem is the large difference in speed. A traditional modem can only achieve Internet speeds of 128 kbps. An EVDO modem achieves transfer speeds of at least 600 kbps, with bursts of speed up to 2 mbps.

The modem is only the mechanism that receives data at this speed. The speed offered by the technology or service provider dictates how fast data is actually transferred to an EVDO modem. These operators charge subscription fees for limited amounts of data.


Generally, the high speeds on the EVDO network are achieved through 3G technology. EVDO is faster because the network sends data by splitting data into packets to save on bandwidth. The modem, or ‘aircard’, is the receptacle that receives this data transfer.

EVDO modems are versatile devices. They are offered as ExpressCards, USB dongles, and PACMACIA cards. Each of these different types of modems can be used on a range of data devices from phones to laptops.

With such high speeds, it is possible to download even major software applications over an EVDO network. These applications can be downloaded wirelessly over the network. Some predict that EVDO will be the next generation of Internet usage due to the increased options available with increased speed.


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