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GSM and CDMA mobile phone comparison


GSM stands for (Global System for Mobile communication).

The GSM Association is an international organization founded in 1987, dedicated to providing, developing, and overseeing the worldwide wireless standard of GSM.

CDMA stands for (Code-Division Multiple Access).

CDMA, a proprietary standard designed by Qualcomm in the United States, has been the dominant network standard for North America and parts of Asia.

However, GSM networks continue to make inroads in the United States, as CDMA networks make progress in other parts of the world.

There are camps on both sides that firmly believe either GSM or CDMA architecture is superior to the other.

That said, to the non-invested consumer who simply wants bottom line information to make a choice, the following considerations may be helpful.

1) Coverage: The most important factor is getting service in the areas you will be using your phone. Upon viewing competitors’ coverage maps you may discover that only GSM or CDMA carriers offer cellular service in your area. If so, there is no decision to be made, but most people will find that they do have a choice.

2) Data Transfer Speed: With the advent of cellular phones doing double and triple duty as streaming video devices, podcast receivers and email devices, speed is important to those who use the phone for more than making calls.

CDMA has been traditionally faster than GSM, though both technologies continue to rapidly leapfrog along this path. Both boast “3G” standards, or 3rd generation technologies.

EVDO, also known as CDMA2000, is CDMA’s answer to the need for speed with a downstream rate of about 2 megabits per second, though some reports suggest real world speeds are closer to 300-700 kilobits per second (kbps).

This is comparable to basic DSL. As of fall 2005, EVDO is in the process of being deployed. It is not available everywhere and requires a phone that is CDMA2000 ready.

GSM’s answer is EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), which boasts data rates of up to 384 kbps with real world speeds reported closer to 70-140 kbps.

With added technologies still in the works that include UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone Standard) and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), speeds reportedly increase to about 275—380 kbps. This technology is also known as W-CDMA, but is incompatible with CDMA networks. An EDGE-ready phone is required.

In the case of EVDO, theoretical high traffic can degrade speed and performance, while the EDGE network is more susceptible to interference. Both require being within close range of a cell to get the best speeds, while performance decreases with distance.

In cellular service there are two main competing network technologies: Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Cellular carriers including Sprint PCS, Cingular Wireless, Verizon and T-Mobile use one or the other. Understanding the difference between GSM and CDMA will allow you to choose a carrier that uses the preferable network technology for your needs.

The GSM Association is an international organization founded in 1987, dedicated to providing, developing, and overseeing the worldwide wireless standard of GSM. CDMA, a proprietary standard designed by Qualcomm in the United States, has been the dominant network standard for North America and parts of Asia. However, GSM networks continue to make inroads in the United States, as CDMA networks make progress in other parts of the world. There are camps on both sides that firmly believe either GSM or CDMA architecture is superior to the other. That said, to the non-invested consumer who simply wants bottom line information to make a choice, the following considerations may be helpful.

CDMA and GSM are Radio technologies and mobile Phone is just an Antenna to recieve these Radio Signals. Since both the technologies work on different frequency range and has different modulation shemes therfore the mobile phones for both are different.

Apart from this 3G tehchnology which is combination of both GSM and CDMA (WCDMA) is compatible with both GSM and CDMA. So a 3G mobile can serve for both GSM and CDMA radio signals.

SIM (Subcriber Idendity Module) is consists of Credential for network authorization. Since Both GSM and CDMA technologies has different Authorization functions and parameters hence both SIMs are different.

Note: In CDMA technology SIM is often called as RUIM (Removable User Idendity Module)

CDMA uses Different Frequencies than GSM. CDMA also does not require a SIM card.

CDMA can hold more calls per channel on their towers, while GSM drops alot of calls. That is why people are always complaining about T-Mobile and At&t dropped calls. GSM is used internationally while CDMA is mostly used in the domestic United States. CDMA carriers are Verizon, Alltel, Sprint, Cricket….while GSM carriers here in the U.S. are T-Mobile and At&t.

GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA). GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency band.
Since many GSM network operators have roaming agreements with foreign operators, users can often continue to use their mobile phones when they travel to other countries. SIM cards (Subscriber Identity Module) holding home network access configurations may be switched to those will metered local access, significantly reducing roaming costs while experiencing no reductions in service.

GSM, together with other technologies, is part of the evolution of wireless mobile telemmunications that includes High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (HCSD), General Packet Radio System (GPRS), Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE), and Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS).

CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) refers to any of several protocols used in so-called second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless communications. As the term implies, CDMA is a form of multiplexing, which allows numerous signals to occupy a single transmission channel, optimizing the use of available bandwidth. The technology is used in ultra-high-frequency (UHF) cellular telephone systems in the 800-MHz and 1.9-GHz bands.

CDMA employs analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) in combination with spread spectrum technology. Audio input is first digitized into binary elements. The frequency of the transmitted signal is then made to vary according to a defined pattern (code), so it can be intercepted only by a receiver whose frequency response is programmed with the same code, so it follows exactly along with the transmitter frequency. There are trillions of possible frequency-sequencing codes, which enhances privacy and makes cloning difficult.

The CDMA channel is nominally 1.23 MHz wide. CDMA networks use a scheme called soft handoff, which minimizes signal breakup as a handset passes from one cell to another. The combination of digital and spread-spectrum modes supports several times as many signals per unit bandwidth as analog modes. CDMA is compatible with other cellular technologies; this allows for nationwide roaming.

In cellular service there are two main competing network technologies: Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). Cellular carriers including Sprint PCS, Cingular Wireless, Verizon and T-Mobile use one or the other. Understanding the difference between GSM and CDMA will allow you to choose a carrier that uses the preferable network technology for your needs.

The GSM Association is an international organization founded in 1987, dedicated to providing, developing, and overseeing the worldwide wireless standard of GSM. CDMA, a proprietary standard designed by Qualcomm in the United States, has been the dominant network standard for North America and parts of Asia. However, GSM networks continue to make inroads in the United States, as CDMA networks make progress in other parts of the world. There are camps on both sides that firmly believe either GSM or CDMA architecture is superior to the other. That said, to the non-invested consumer who simply wants bottom line information to make a choice, the following considerations may be helpful.

Coverage: The most important factor is getting service in the areas you will be using your phone. Upon viewing competitors’ coverage maps you may discover that only GSM or CDMA carriers offer cellular service in your area. If so, there is no decision to be made, but most people will find that they do have a choice.

Data Transfer Speed: With the advent of cellular phones doing double and triple duty as streaming video devices, podcast receivers and email devices, speed is important to those who use the phone for more than making calls. CDMA has been traditionally faster than GSM, though both technologies continue to rapidly leapfrog along this path. Both boast “3G” standards, or 3rd generation technologies.

EVDO, also known as CDMA2000, is CDMA’s answer to the need for speed with a downstream rate of about 2 megabits per second, though some reports suggest real world speeds are closer to 300-700 kilobits per second (kbps). This is comparable to basic DSL. As of fall 2005, EVDO is in the process of being deployed. It is not available everywhere and requires a phone that is CDMA2000 ready.

GSM’s answer is EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), which boasts data rates of up to 384 kbps with real world speeds reported closer to 70-140 kbps. With added technologies still in the works that include UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone Standard) and HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), speeds reportedly increase to about 275—380 kbps. This technology is also known as W-CDMA, but is incompatible with CDMA networks. An EDGE-ready phone is required.

In the case of EVDO, theoretical high traffic can degrade speed and performance, while the EDGE network is more susceptible to interference. Both require being within close range of a cell to get the best speeds, while performance decreases with distance.

Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards: In the United States only GSM phones use SIM cards. The removable SIM card allows phones to be instantly activated, interchanged, swapped out and upgraded, all without carrier intervention. The SIM itself is tied to the network, rather than the actual phone. Phones that are card-enabled can be used with any GSM carrier.

The CDMA equivalent, a R-UIM card, is only available in parts of Asia but remains on the horizon for the U.S. market. CDMA carriers in the U.S. require proprietary handsets that are linked to one carrier only and are not card-enabled. To upgrade a CDMA phone, the carrier must deactivate the old phone then activate the new one. The old phone becomes useless.

Roaming: For the most part, both networks have fairly concentrated coverage in major cities and along major highways. GSM carriers, however, have roaming contracts with other GSM carriers, allowing wider coverage of more rural areas, generally speaking, often wi
GSM and CDMA are two different modulation standards. GSM is used primerily in Europe and CDMA in the US. GSM uses a system called TDMA to differentiate between different mobile calls, TDMA means Time Division Multiple Access. CDMA is a much more complex system which uses digital codes to differentiate between the different mobile calls. CDMA stands for Code Divison Multiple Access. Mobiles designed for CDMA and mobiles designed for GSM look very similar, even the construction looks the same, infact most modern mobiles can operate using either system so that they can be used around the world.
The world of wireless communication has opened up new vistas of technology and a number of dedicated attempts to enhance the existent systems. Each system is unique in its approach and the competition simply lies in the accessibility and facilities enabled. The sphere of mobile communication is synonymous with the GSM and CDMA communication systems, worldwide. The services are not contained or restricted and are accessible anywhere.

To understand the main difference between GSM and CDMA communication systems, it is essential to understand that while the former is a universal concept, the latter has emerged out of a proprietary effort. GSM or the Global System for Mobile communication is an international organization established in 1987, to develop and enhance wireless communication, worldwide. CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access is relatively new in the industry and a design of Qualcomm, a company based in the United States of America.

The CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access was initiated as an alternative to GSM or the Global System for Mobile communication. The difference lies in the speed made available for data transfer, which is traditionally considered faster with CDMA. Nevertheless, just as diverse as the scope of wireless mobile communication is, so is the scope for both these industry giants to outdo one another in the global





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