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Evolved EDGE

3G networks are rolling out and are bringing us one step closer to wireless nirvana. In the meantime, it is enhanced 2G services such as CDMA2000 1xRTT and EDGE that provide the national coverage we need for widespread access. I???m a big fan of EDGE, happily using my Nokia 6230 EDGE-capable phone as a modem with a Bluetooth connection to my laptop. With all the emphasis on 3G services such as EV-DO (Evolved Data Optimized), WCDMA (Wideband CDMA), HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access ??? WCDMA on steroids), and mobile WiMAX in the wings, I was quite interested to just learn that 3GPP is actually looking at evolving EDGE in Release 7 specifications, with goals of doubling data rates and reducing latency to around 100 msec. Though this wouldn???t be available for deployment for another couple of years, it could be an interesting option for some cellular operators. It???s also interesting to see further effort going into a ???legacy??? time-division multiple access (TDMA) approach when the industry is currently debating the relative merits of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) versus Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) for next-generation cellular networks.