10 Important Difference Between GSM And CDMA (Tabular Form)

difference between gsm and cdma
What is the difference between GSM and CDMA?

For a long time, cellular mobile services have been utilized all over the world, and they are still evolving every day. In the field of mobile communication, GSM and CDMA are the two most widely used technologies.

The difference between the two networks, in terms of technology, comes down to the frequency ranges they use and how they carry voice data between these channels.

The way voice and data transmitting over GSM and CDMA mobile networks differs. The service area, data transfer speeds, and the type of technology utilized are among the other distinctions.

 The primary difference between GSM and CDMA is that GSM is associated with a specific SIM card that is used with the phone. CDMA, on the other hand, is device-specific.

What is GSM and CDMA, and What is the Difference Between GSM and CDMA Communication Technologies? will be discussed in this article.


AT&T has already decommissioned its 2G GSM network, and it just announced that it will decommission its 3G GSM/UMTS network in February 2022.

T-Mobile will discontinue 3G GSM/UMTS service in April 2022, and 2G GSM service in December 2022.

On January 1, 2022, T-Mobile will shut down the 3G CDMA network that certain Sprint and Boost customers use.

Verizon’s 3G CDMA network will be decommissioned on December 31, 2022.

What Is GSM?

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communication, and it is now the global standard for communication, especially in Asia and Europe.

900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz are the three carrier frequencies used by the GSM standard. The initial GSM system utilized the 900MHz band, and the 1800MHz band was added to handle the growing number of subscribers. In the United States, the 1900 MHz frequency range is primarily used.

For user and cell separation, GSM employs both Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA). TDMA allows multiple users to share a single connection.

FDMA offers multiuser access by splitting up the channel into specific time slices and segregating the users.

What Is CDMA?

CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access, and it is a digital radio system that supports a mobile phone network.

CDMA hasn’t achieved the same global adoption as GSM, with fewer than 18% of global networks utilizing the technology, and is mostly used in the United States.

Ultra-high frequency (UHF) cellular networks with a range ranging from 800MHz to 1.9GHz employ this technology.

It uses spread spectrum technology to get the most out of the given bandwidth. Because it uses spread spectrum technology, each user can send data over the whole frequency spectrum at any moment.

Difference Between GSM And CDMA: GSM VS CDMA

Global System for Mobile CommunicationStands forCode Division Multiple Access.
It is SIM specific.BasicIt is Handset specific.
FDMA(Frequency Division Multiple Access) and TDMA(Time Division Multiple Access).TechnologyCDMA(Code Division Multiple Access)
Globally availableReachLimited to specific countries.
Simultaneous transmission of voice and data.TransmissionVoice and data does not transmit simultaneously.
384 KbpsSpeed2Mbps
Less secureSecurityMore secure
Stored in SIMCustomer DataStored in Handset
Specific code and physical channel for every user in the cell.NetworkNetwork tower serves for every user in that cell.
Wedge spectrum technologySpectrumSpread spectrum technology
28 times more than that of CDMARadiationEmits less radiation
850 MHz to 1900 MHzSpectrum frequencies850MHz and 1900MHz
EDGE Data transfer technology EVDO
EasySignal detectionHard
Other than USA Mostly used inUSA


GSM is much ahead of CDMA in terms of popularity and usage. CDMA, on the other hand, has more sophisticated encryption methods than GSM in terms of security.

Carriers are beginning to phase out their outdated 2G and 3G networks as 5G networks go out. As a result, GSM and CDMA technologies will lose even more relevance.

GSM is utilized by about 80% of the world, while CDMA is used mostly in the United States, as well as parts of Canada and Japan.

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