What Should I Expect from EVDO Speed?

Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman

Evolution Data Only or Evolution Data Optimized (EVDO) is a third-generation (3G) mobile broadband technology used by telecommunications networks and Internet service providers, such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint, to deliver wireless data and information for personal use to wireless phones and communications devices. 3G is a family of standards for mobile communications that includes GSM EDGE, WiMAX, and CDMA2000. This technology offers a wider application for both voice and data transmission, and touts higher speeds than its second-generation (2G) predecessor as well as the benefit of added security. EVDO speed depends largely upon the successful infrastructure of any given 3G network. A typical EVDO speed has the capability of reaching download rates of between 600 to 1400 kilobits per second (kbps) and upload speeds of 500 to 800 kbps.

EVDO service offers download speeds between 600 and 1,400 kilobits per second.
EVDO service offers download speeds between 600 and 1,400 kilobits per second.

EVDO provides a relatively high quality of wireless transmission at a low cost, thus making it an affordable and convenient alternative to individuals who need a full-time wireless connection away from home. Traditionally, faster connection speeds have relied upon a hardwired connection in order to maximize bandwidth and speed of transmission. Because EVDO speed is not dependent upon a hardwired network, its applications allow for widespread use among mobile devices. A special modem is required to establish an EVDO connection, as well as a specific EVDO account with a wireless provider.

The speed of EVDO broadband Internet access may depend on your proximity to the nearest telecommunications antenna.
The speed of EVDO broadband Internet access may depend on your proximity to the nearest telecommunications antenna.

Although wireless carriers employing EVDO regularly boast fast speeds, there are other variables that can interfere with transmission and reduce those speeds dramatically. Factors such as the distance of your device from the closest wireless access point or cell tower and network congestion can mean the difference between a great connection and a miserable one. Antenna boosters are available to increase EVDO speed which will maximize the connection substantially. These antennae are optional and will usually be an additional charge for the consumer.

Additionally, maximizing good EVDO speed will depend largely upon the network that you use. Keeping an eye on current reviews of the three major networks – Sprint, Verizon, and Alltel – will go a long way in demonstrating which are among the best reviewed for national and local coverage and which tend to fall somewhat short. While EVDO is exciting because it remains one of the best and fastest ways to connect wirelessly, reviews of the available networks at present are nevertheless mixed largely because the technology is still new. Many wireless carriers, however, are doing their best to build compatible networks to accommodate it.

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Discussion Comments


I have been a little frustrated with our 3G service. Maybe I should look into getting an EVDO antenna.

I can be working away on a clear day, and all of a sudden I lose my connection. This happens randomly for no reason at all. Sometimes it stays off only for a few seconds, and other times I can't get back online for an hour or so.

There are also other times when I have to reset the wireless connections on my computer for it to recognize the system. This has caused me a lot of frustration.

As far as the speed, I am happy with it when it works right. In a few months I can upgrade to a 4G, which is even faster, but want to make sure I don't have the same problems I am having with the 3G.


@andee - Each company is a little bit different, but I think all of them have similar pricing. We signed up for this through the company we have our cell phones with.

We pay $50 a month for 5 GB of data. For every GB we go over each month, there is another $10 charge. For some people this is much more expensive than what they are currently paying.

The advantage for us was the mobility. You can also get an account that has a lower amount of data for a lower price. It just depends on how often you are on the internet.

Between my husband and I, we are online quite a bit, and we have never gone over the 5 GB in a month.

Being able to take this with us when we travel is a big plus. This way we have a secure connection wherever we go. There have been many times I have used this with my laptop when traveling in the car.

With our plan, you can have up to 3 people using it at one time. I have been happy with the speed of the 3G service. If anybody remembers using dial-up, this is absolutely amazing!


How much does a service like EVDO WIFI cost each month? I have been shopping around for a different internet connection, and wondered how much more this would be than what I am currently paying.

Also, can you use more than one computer at a time with this kind of service? There are 5 people in our family and it is not unusual for 2-3 of us to be online at the same time.

This doesn't happen as often as it used to because our kids are on their phones a lot of the time. It would just be nice to have the option of more than one person being on the computer at the same time.


We currently use 3G EVDO service for our wireless internet connection. Before this, we used a satellite connection. The speed of the 3G network is definitely faster than what we had been using previously.

Overall, I have been pleased with this switch. We live in the country, so don't have as many options to choose from for internet connections as those who live in town have.

I was a little skeptical at first because we had to sign a two year contract, but we had a month to try it out to make sure we were satisfied with it.

We are about 6 months into our contract, and I really enjoy having a faster connection. My only complaint is sometimes videos don't work very well. Many times they are slow to load, or keep cutting out.

This same thing happened when we had a satellite connection. The speed of web pages loading is faster, but when it comes to videos, I would say it is about the same.

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