CDMA vs. GSM: What’s the Difference?

November 8, 2016


Two primary technologies in mobile phones, CDMA and GSM, signify a gap you can’t cross. The y’re the reason you can’t use multiple AT&T phones on Verizon’s network and vice versa. However, what does CDMA vs. GSM mean for you?

GSM (Global System for Mobiles) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) are shorthand for the two main radio techniques used in cell phones. Each acronym tends to group together a bunch of technologies run by the identical entities. In this story, I’ll try to clarify who uses which technology and what the real differences are.

What’s CDMA?

It has a standard designed and controlled by Qualcomm, however subsequently used as the source for the WCDMA and CDMA2000 standards for 3G. However, its proprietary nature, CDMA hasn’t seen the worldwide collection that GSM has, with less than 18% of the networks throughout the world using CDMA, and is essentially found in the US, with Verizon Wireless and Sprint each using CDMA networks, as well as in South Korea and Russia.

What’s GSM?

GSM is now considered the usual for communication globally, especially in Asia and Europe, with its availability in across 210 countries worldwide. It has various frequency bands, 1800 MHz and 900 MHz is Asia and Europe, 1900 MHz and 850 MHz in South and North America. The GSM Association is a global organization founded in 1987; that’s supposed to develop and oversee the growth of the GSM wireless standard.

Is One Better Than The Other?

There are, of course, more sensible issues that matter more to us as a consumer, which you’ll find listed beneath –

SIM cards: Earlier than the advent of 4G LTE, the obvious difference between GSM and CDMA devices were with concerns to the SIM card. GSM handsets appeared with a SIM card slot, while CDMA phones did not. In other phrases, CDMA is a handset based standard, with a phone number linked to a specific device. When you wished to improve to another phone, you would need to get in touch with the network provider, de-activate the previous device and activate the new one. However, with GSM devices, the phone number is linked to the SIM card, so when switching devices, all you need to do is pop the SIM card into a new phone, and you’re good to go.

Network coverage: GSM networks are far more popular globally, however in the US, Verizon Wireless, a CDMA network, boasts the highest variety of subscribers in the nation.

Worldwide roaming: In your home market, it doesn’t matter what kind of network it’s, with the main target instead of on the available coverage. However, when it comes to international roaming, GSM has the top hand, with their being a lot more GSM networks around the world, together with roaming offers between these suppliers.

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