Around these parts, we don’t hear much about EV-DO Rev. B. Sprint (s S) and Verizon Wireless (s VZ) since both adopted the Rev. A implementation but each is moving on to hopefully greener pastures: Sprint is embracing WiMAX, while Verizon plans for LTE.
The upgrade market for faster EV-DO service is alive and well elsewhere though. Why else would ZTE show off Rev. B at the 3GPP2 Standards Conference that just concluded in Shanghai? The hardware company demonstrated a VoIP call using the newer standard showing speeds in the 9.3Mbps download range and 5.4Mbps back up.
ZTE explains that existing Rev. A and Rev. B use an “identical baseband chipset” and that Rev. A radios simply need a software upgrade for the faster speeds. Even with such a seemingly simple implementation, I don’t think it provides enough bang for buck here. HSPA technologies already compete well with the speeds mentioned and 4G services will offer far better bandwidth. That helps partially explain to me why Verizon Wireless is opting for the LTE route; using a more accepted global standard is another reason.