CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) is a digital cellular technology that uses “spread-spectrum” techniques whereby electromagnetic energy is spread to allow for a signal with a wider bandwidth. This allows multiple people on multiple cell phones to be “multiplexed” over the same channel to share a bandwidth of frequencies. Unlike competing systems, such as GSM, that use TDMA, CDMA does not assign a specific frequency to each user.
With CDMA technology, data and voice packets are separated using codes and then transmitted using a wide frequency range, allowing more subscribers to connect at any given time. Since more space is often allocated for data with CDMA, this standard became attractive for 3G high-speed mobile Internet use. CDMA is also compatible with other cellular technologies; this allows for nationwide roaming.
The original CDMA standard, also known as CDMA One, offers a transmission speed of only up to 14.4 Kbps in its single channel form and up to 115 Kbps in an eight-channel form. CDMA2000 and Wideband CDMA deliver data many times faster.
A little bit of History
CDMA (originally known as IS-95) is a military technology first used during World War II by English allies to foil German attempts at jamming transmissions. The allies decided to transmit over several frequencies, instead of one, making it difficult for the Germans to pick up the complete signal. Because Qualcomm created communications chips for CDMA technology, it was privy to the classified information. Once the information became public, Qualcomm claimed patents on the technology and became the first to commercialize it in the U.S.
Now a days Sprint, Virgin Mobile and Verizon Wireless use CDMA while T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM.
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