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« Verizon May Cut EVDO Prices 25 Percent | Main | 3G Price Twiddling in Wake of Verizon Cut »

August 29, 2005

Verizon Cuts EVDO Prices

By Glenn Fleishman

The Wall Street Journal reports Verizon has dropped EVDO prices: But it’s only for voice subscribers. A two-year contract costs $59.99 per month for unlimited EVDO alongside a voice plan, although this is potentially a short-term promotion. Verizon won’t say. Verizon has well over 40 million voice subscribers. (Voice requirement explicated by Mike Masnick.)

The company is also adding seven metro areas today to its EVDO footprint: Denver; Charlotte, N.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Baton Rouge, La.; and most of the San Francisco Bay area.

But once again, Verizon Wireless characterizes this as an us against Wi-Fi proposition. “This will hit dead-on-site against the Wi-Fi ‘hot spot’ phenomenon,” said John Stratton, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless.

Verizon is doomed to fail in this strategy. EVDO speeds are a fraction of professionally run Wi-Fi hotspots: typically 1/2 to 1/10 the normal speed (not burst speed) for downloads and a whopping 1/5 to 1/50 the upload speed—the high-end being T-Mobile and other services T-1 service that offers symmetric 1.5 Mbps.

EVDO backers will tell me that EVDO service speeds are per user, while Wi-Fi users share a pool of bandwidth, and as Wi-Fi becomes more popular in any given spot, bandwidth decreases. Which assumes that a profitable, high-use Wi-Fi service wouldn’t increase its bandwidth when 6 Mbps DSL is available in most urban areas at a reasonable cost.

Verizon Wireless is competing against Blackberry, other 3G services, and the value of time for business travelers. With Wi-Fi in most airports now, and wired and wireless services included in usage plans at virtually all business hotels, EVDO isn’t a necessity for most travelers. EVDO assumes you want to work everywhere; Wi-Fi hotspots assume you want to work in places that are designed for you to work in.

Posted by Glennf at August 29, 2005 11:24 AM

Categories: EVDO

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