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Tim Higgins notes that it might not be smart to connect for cell data to your smartphone via Bluetooth: Bluetooth 1.2, the version most likely found in any given smartphone, tops out at a little above 700 Kbps, well below the top download burst rates available with EVDO and HSDPA. Higgins found in testing that connecting a smartphone via USB provided substantially improved throughput—in one case a best rate three times higher than with Bluetooth.
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR closes in on 3 Mbps, but as a newer flavor, it’s less available due to chip expense. It’ll eventually become the standard, even as EVDO Rev. A moves to over 3 Mbps of burst download speed and HSDPA hits similar marks. (Power usage, may be less of a constraint, because 2.0+EDR “talks” less to achieve the same throughput, thus being more efficient per bit.) [via JiWire]
Qualcomm announced a host of future additions to the EVDO and HSDPA standards: EVDO Rev B, mentioned in the previous post, is just one of a list of DMMX (DO Multicarrier Multilink Extensions) and HMMX (HSDPA MMX) add-ons. The multicarrier, multilink means that both standards will be able to work over protocols and bands simultaneously instead of requiring all service in a single band on a single carrier.
The EVDO Rev B speed boost can be accomplished by bonding 1.25 MHz channels, the current 1x channel width, in agglomerations of up 15 or 20 MHz total which would allow 73.5 Mbps downlinks. Even a single 1.25 MHz channel will increase from 3.1 Mbps with Rev A to 4.9 Mbps with Rev B.
They’ll also support some tweaky radio frequency and antenna additions that should increase range at lower signal levels; a new codec will improve voice quality; and GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth will all be integrated into their offerings as well as OFDM as an encoding method for streaming audio and video.
Their goal is a multi-tasking convergence that allows simultaneous multi-band, multi-function operation. Thus GPS tracking, Internet mapping software, and a phone call could happen at once, or VoIP and Web page viewing with groupware functions.
It’s a brave new world, and Qualcomm has just leapt in with techniques and standards that show their extend, embrace, and conquer attitude.