Differences Between GSM and CDMA Networks: Advantages and Disadvantages


GSM and CDMA networks – So far, what we know there may be two mobile internet networks, namely GSM and CDMA. The most popular now? Definitely GSM. But the first to become famous in the 2005 era was definitely CDMA. However, is there actually a cell phone internet network with a CDMA model? What are the advantages of GSM so that now it is an existing mobile internet network.

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Okay, now let’s talk about what is meant by GSM and CDMA along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. And why GSM is a mobile internet network that is far superior today than CDMA.

Mobile Internet Network

First, let’s discuss mobile internet networks or broadband internet first. Mobile broadband is a phrase typically used by wireless carriers to describe their mobile Internet access services that use cellular telephone infrastructure, or cellular networks. A number of network standards can be used for mobile broadband including:

  • CDMA
  • GPRS
  • 3G
  • WiMAX
  • UMTS

Explanation About GSM

The mobile internet network that still exists today is GSM. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile communication which is a digital cellular network that is widely used by mobile phone users in various 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 code-division multiple access (CDMA).

GSM digitizes and compresses the data, then sends it down a channel with two other user data streams, each in its own time slot. It operates in the 900 megahertz (MHz) or 1,800 MHz frequency band.

History of GSM

The history of GSM began in 1983, the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) formed a committee to develop European standards for digital telecommunications. CEPT decided on several criteria that the new system had to meet: international roaming support, high voice quality, support for handheld devices, low service fees, support for new services and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) capabilities.

In 1989, responsibility for the GSM project was transferred from CEPT to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

GSM-based cellular service was first launched in Finland in 1991. In the same year, the GSM standard frequency band was expanded from 900 MHz to 1,800 MHz. In 2010, GSM represented 80% of the global mobile phone market.

GSM advantage

The following are some of the advantages of the GSM internet network that you need to know:

  • Improved spectrum efficiency
  • International tour
  • Low cost mobile devices and base stations
  • High-quality speech
  • Compatibility with Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and other telephone company services
  • Support for new services

Disadvantages of GSM

Meanwhile, the disadvantages of GSM include:

  • Bandwidth delay due to multiple users sharing the same bandwidth so transmissions can find interfaces.
  • May interfere with certain electronics, such as hearing aids, caused by pulse transmission technology. As a result, many locations, such as hospitals, airports, and gas stations, require cell phones to be turned off.
  • To increase coverage a repeater is required to be installed.
  • It provides limited data rate capabilities so for high data rates advanced versions of GSM devices are used.

Explanation About CDMA

Then, what is CDMA? CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) refers to one of several protocols used in second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless communications. As the term implies, CDMA is a form of multiplexing, which allows multiple signals to occupy a single transmission channel, optimizing the use of available bandwidth.

This technology is used in ultra-high frequency (UHF) cellular telephone systems in the 800 megahertz (MHz) and 1.9 gigahertz (GHz) bands.

History of CDMA

When discussing the history of CDMA, it is certainly very long because it was earlier than GSM. CDMA technology was used many times during World War II by the British army to stop German attempts to jam transmissions. The British decided to send the signal over several frequencies instead of one, making it difficult for the Germans to pick up the full signal.

CDMA has been used in many military applications, such as anti-jamming (because the signal spreads out, it’s hard to jam or interfere with the CDMA signal), ranging (measuring the transmission distance to know when it will be received), and secure communication (spread spectrum signals are very difficult to detect). .

In 1949, Claude Shannon and Robert Pierce developed the basic idea of CDMA. In March 1992, TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) formed a subcommittee TR-45.5 to develop a spread spectrum digital cellular standard. In July 1993, TIA gave its approval for the CDMA Technology standard.

In September 1998, there were 16 million subscribers on CDMA systems worldwide. Now, 22 countries support CDMA. Verizon, which used to be the largest carrier, is now second behind AT&T, using CDMA.

Advantages of CDMA

Although CDMA is a technology that is much earlier than GSM which is used by most internet networks today, CDMA also has various advantages, including:

  • CDMA Channels cannot be decoded effectively thus offering increased cell correspondence protection.
  • Call quality is better with more predictable voice when compared to GSM.
  • Less impedance due to highlight highlight reduces call drop.
  • Provides better inclusion and requirements of multiple destination equipment reception and furthermore burn-through less client limit increases due to greater number of clients per MHz of data transmission than some other frameworks thus has a limit of 4 to several times that of GSM.

Disadvantages of CDMA

However, CDMA has several drawbacks that make it inferior to GSM, including:

  • In CDMA, time synchronization is required.
  • CDMA framework framework with expansion in the number of clients.
  • CDMA organizations are not adults as they are quite new to GSM.
  • When using CDMA, the code length can be chosen with difficulty, as this can induce delays.


So, which one is better? GSM or CDMA? This question is often a topic of conversation when choosing an internet network for mobile.

CDMA and GSM standards only apply to 2G and 3G connectivity. As the shift to fourth-generation wireless started in earnest in 2010, carriers adopted Long-Term Evolution (LTE), the global standard for 4G networks. As a result, the differences between CDMA and GSM became less important as CDMA phones and the devices supported by GSM networks disappeared into history.

However, for now, the 2G and 3G networks still serve as a backup for areas with a weak 4G LTE signal and it is possible that when there is a 5G signal now, the 4G signal can become a backup for areas that are still not covered by 5G.

CDMA will become less relevant with advances in fifth-generation (5G) wireless systems. 5G promises to drastically increase the data transfer rates possible on cellular networks to rival fiber-optic networks.

How? Choose CDMA or GSM?

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