By Carlo Longino, Thu Mar 03 22:45:00 GMT 2005

Reports out of South Korea say Qualcomm has abandoned the development of chipsets for EV-DV handsets, choosing to focus instead on upgrading its EV-DO offerings.

The Korea Herald reports the news, adding it will likely force the country's smallest carrier to ditch its 3G plans and choose another standard, the most logical choice being EV-DO, the flavor used by rivals SK Telecom and KT Freetel.

The news isn't all that surprising, really. It had been noted several months ago that the success of EV-DO could forestall EV-DV, with upgrades to the Data-Optimized variant superseding many of the advantages EV-DV offered, and VoIP support expected to be added forthcoming revisions of the standard. EV-DO already has tremendous momentum, with world-leading carriers in Japan and Korea using it, as well as networks in a number of other countries. On the other hand, LG Telecom was the only operator in the world to have begun implementing EV-DV. US carrier Sprint had long been rumored to be upgrading its network from 1xRTT straight to EV-DV, but said last year it, too, would use EV-DO.

It's perhaps this unpopularity with carriers that made the decision, and of course it's possible Qualcomm could restart the program in the future, though it may also have been LG Telecom's actions that doomed EV-DV. The operator has struggled against its bigger rivals, and many analysts and investors believe the company is looking to be bought out. It doesn't appear to have the money to invest in a new network, either, and also recently ditched a venture with Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics to develop EV-DV service solutions.