Evolution Data Only

What Does Evolution Data Only Mean?

Evolution data only (EVDO) is a network standard used for wireless data communications, primarily for connecting to the Internet. It is a protocol for high speed broadband and is comparable to DSL or cable Internet service.


EVDO is a standard designed for the CDMA2000 network and was standardized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2). The official name assigned to this standard by the Telecommunication Industry Association is CDMA2000, high rate packet data air interface. W-CDMA is a competing standard for the CDMA2000 platform.

This term is also known as evolution data optimized (EV-DO or EVDO).

Techopedia Explains Evolution Data Only

When support was needed for voice services requiring high data rates, EVDO became CDMA2000 standard’s solution. The current revision of the EVDO standard (revision A) has a download speed of up to 3.1 Mbps and an upload speed of up to 0.8 Mbps. Revision A is being improved to offer even higher rates.

EVDO uses the same broadcasting frequency as CDMA networks, an advantage over competing standards. The technology allows multiple devices to simultaneously transmit on the same frequency. It also separates data into packets to save bandwidth, like Internet protocol.

Theoretically, the throughput of EVDO is about the same as many residential DSL and cable broadband connections, about 2.4 Mbps. Much testing has been conducted to demonstrate the impressive capabilities achieved by EVDO.

EVDO technology can be used with certain classes of cellular phones and various external hardware such as laptops, modems and hand held devices. Verizon, Sprint and a large network in Korea are all major carriers deploying EVDO in the US. Although, it is not very popular in Europe and parts of Asia.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.