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CDMA Versus GSM for Mobile Phones

All cellular carriers are either using GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) or CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) right now. Global System for Mobile Communications or GSM is a standard developed by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute). CDMA, on the other hand, was invented in the U.S. and was used by America and its allies to transmit classified information during World War II. GSM is more popular worldwide compared to CDMA.

GSM transfers data by means of GPRS, EDGE, and HSDPA. GSM devices make calls by searching for cells. There are four types of cells, which are dependent on whether the masks are place on top of a building, inside a building, and whatnot.

Four basic differences exist between CDMA and GSM and they include data transmitting rate, network coverage, need for SIM card, and cost.

Need for SIM card (Subscriber identity module)

A Smartphone is either SIM card dependent or not SIM card dependent. GSM technology is SIM card dependent whereas CDMA technology is not. There is a catch; if you own a GSM phone, you can always switch carriers.

You can take your mobile device with you to any part of the world and start using it almost immediately with the help of GSM technology. That is not the case with CDMA technology since configuration settings are for specific carriers.

Network Coverage for CDMA and GSM

GSM technology is very reliable in terms of network strength compared with CDMA. Although GSM and CDMA are 3G technologies, they have different data rates. GSM has a better data rate, which makes it ideal for wireless modem technologies.

CDMA covers more areas than GSM does. In addition, phones with little signal reception can still connect to CDMA as opposed to GSM. CDMA mobile devices consume less battery power than GSM mobile devices as well.

Cost of CDMA and GSM

GSM dominates the market and roaming is cheaper on GSM technology than CDMA. With GSM technology, you donít need to buy a new Smartphone if you have moved overseas.

These are the major differences between CDMA and GSM technologies. The problem with CDMA is very clear in rural areas where there is often no service. CDMA is common in North America while GSM technology is popular in Europe. It would be nice to move from one country to the other while still being able to use your Smartphone and that is what GSM technology provides. You only need to change SIM cards.

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