CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access. It is a channel access method that enables multiple transmitters to transmit their signals collectively over a single channel at the same time. This means that multiple users are sharing the same bandwidth or set of frequencies. In order to prevent any disturbance of interference, spread spectrum technology is used wherein a generated signal is spread over a wide bandwidth with the help of a spreading code. Each user in the systems gets to have their own unique code.


CDMA is currently being used by several phone service companies as the standard and there are multiple reasons why it has become such a commonplace choice, competing with GSM. CDMA has five times the capacity of GSM and allows multiple users to access the same wireless signal in a locality. This also means that regardless of how many users may be using the network at a given time, the chances of your call getting dropped or experiencing quality issues is very low. Another huge benefit is the encryption and encoding in the process that makes it very secure and difficult to intercept and interpret. CDMA devices also tend to be much more energy efficient as they generate enough power so as to ensure that your call is not impacted by the signals around you whereas never producing more than what is needed.




Often at times, we see that CDMA competes with GSM, the latter being one of the leading cell service technologies in the world. As of current, some of the major companies in the United States using the CDMA standard instead of GSM include the likes of Verizon, Virgin Mobile, as well as Sprint. Companies like T Mobile and AT&T still opt for GSM as their phone service. While the performance of either of the two standards does not differ greatly, the way it is achieved, in regards to the technical aspect, is quite different.


One of the major differences is the use of SIM cards to store user data on the network in GSM systems and the storage of user information on the carrier’s server in the case of CDMA networks. Where changing phones on a GSM network can be as easy as moving your SIM card from one device to the other, doing the same transition on the CDMA network can be relatively harder, and in many cases, impossible without informing your service provider and reaching out for their assistance.


As opposed to a time division system in GSM, where the audio is converted into digital data and each call is associated with a particular channel and time slot, CDMA works on a code division system. Here, your audio data is converted into the digital form and then encoded with a key, after which all the calls are transmitted simultaneously rather than one after the other. This technology has been proven to be more powerful and more flexible.




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