I received a very nice surprise when I opened my Razr phone this morning and saw the little “EV” symbol instead of the usual “1x” one. At some point in the last 12 hours or so, Verizon Wireless silently enabled their BroadbandAccess (EV-DO) network for the Grand Forks area. Word has it that it’s also turned on in Fargo and Bismarck as well.
As a quick, informal test, I did testing this afternoon using a laptop and a Rev 0 BroadbandAccess card that we have here at the office. Download speeds appear to be in the 512 Kbps range, while upload speeds are in the 125 Kbps range. That’s a huge improvement over what we were getting on the 1x network – at least a 10x jump in speed.
This is great news for North Dakotans. The new Rev A EV-DO equipment Verizon has installed here means that Grand Forks now has a faster mobile Internet connection than the Twin Cities. As many other people have noted, having fast, reliable mobile Internet access can be a game-changer for many, especially freelancers and small businesses. No more reliance on spotty Wi-Fi networks or being tied to an office. I call that a productivity booster!