|Nokia hoping for earliest use of EV-DV in China |
Wireless giant Nokia hopes China will become one of the earliest nations to
adopt CDMA 1X EV-DV, the newest evolution of the CDMA2000 1X technology.
"We would like to see China become one of the leaders in deploying the EV-DV
technology, as soon as possible," Adam Gould, Nokia's chief technology officer
for CDMA business, told reporters last Thursday during his visit to China.
EV-DV, based on CDMA (code division multiple access), stands for evolution data
and voice and is a rival standard for EV-DO (evolution data only).
The two standards are 3G (third-generation) evolutions of CDMA2000 1X, which is
usually regarded as a 2.5G technology.
Nokia has held talks with several Chinese companies about the deployment of
CDMA2000 1X EV-DV, Gould said.
"The feedback (of the talks), in general, is quite good. I believe most people
agree EV-DV is a better technology than EV-DO, though EV-DO is here today while
EV-DV is still being developed," he said.
EV-DO technology allows wireless Internet users a download speed of 300
kilobytes per second. It is dozens of times faster than the current CDMA
network, and it supports VOD (video-on-demand) and videoconferencing on mobile
EV-DV promises even higher data speeds, up to 3.1 megabytes per second, and
will support real-time applications over a voice-over-IP (Internet protocol)
China Unicom is reportedly awaiting deployment of CDMA2000 1X EV-DO, pending on
The company in December exhibited its under-testing CDMA1X EV-DO technology at
the Hong Kong Asia Telecommunication Expo.
To bypass policy barriers, China Unicom called the technology 2.75G, while
experts suggested it fell under 3G.
It seems Nokia hopes Unicom can sidestep EV-DO and move straight to CDMA2000 1X
Qualcomm, which controls essential patents of CDMA technology, last week held a
two-day, high-profile CDMA1X display in Guangzhou, with Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer Irwin Jacobs in attendance.
Officials with Chinese equipment vendors ZTE at the expo were quoted as saying
equipment based on EV-DO is already mature and can be put into commercial use
immediately, provided the government issues the 3G licences.
However, Gould noted the "time advantage" enjoyed by EV-DO will not be
translated into great revenues for operators, as the need for data services has
not surged as expected.
Nokia formed an alliance in May with Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics
to develop next-generation CDMA chips.
The vendor team is initially focusing on CDMA2000 1X chip sets, already being
used in Nokia handsets.
By next year, development will shift to EV-DV.
Nokia had indicated it would produce EV-DV handsets next year, and US-based
CDMA carriers, such as Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless, hinted they would be
aggressive with EVA-DV adoption when handsets based on the technology were
Nokia's continuing CDMA push will help it win a better negotiating position
with Qualcomm and other companies, Gould said.
"We cannot avoid Qualcomm's patents, which are essential to the standards.
Everyone has to use them," he said.
"What we are trying to do, in Nokia's perspective, is to make sure our
negotiating position is as strong as possible."
Nokia has the second-largest number of patents and IPRs in the CDMA technology,
only behind Qualcomm, Gould said.
Nokia, currently the leader in the handset market based on the GSM (global
system for mobile communications), will "actively participate" in China's CDMA
market in a bid to boost its global share, Gould said.
Nokia said last week, when posting its second quarter financial results, that
its share of the global market had climbed to 39 per cent.
The company has publicly stated it's aiming to increase its share to 40 per
"CDMA accounts for 20-25 per cent of the global wireless market. It is a market
size we cannot ignore. We are excited by CDMA's development in China," Gould
Nokia will start selling CDMA handsets in China in the year's second half.