Difference between CDMA and GSM

When people think of cellular network services, their primary problem has been regards to protection, quality, help, pricing, and other factors but when you pick a network service, in addition, you make the decision between a GSM network or perhaps a CDMA system, at least in the USA. You have probably run into these terms before, when deciding on a cellular phone, or when initial joining, or switching, network carriers, but what do they mean, and what’s the Difference between CDMA and GSM? We figure out, once we take a closer look at GSM vs CDMA, and what it indicates for people like a consumer.

What’s GSM?

GSM represents Global System for Mobile Communication, and it is now regarded the typical for communication globally, particularly in Asia and Europe, using its access in more than 210 countries worldwide. The GSM Association is an international company established in 1987, that’s meant to develop and manage the extension of the GSM wireless standard.

What is CDMA?

CDMA, or code division multiple-access, was a standard created and patented by Qualcomm. However, due to the proprietary nature, CDMA hasn’t noticed the international ownership that GSM has, with significantly less than 18% of the networks around the world using CDMA, and is largely present in the US, with Verizon Wireless and Dash both using CDMA systems, in addition to in South Korea and Russia.

Difference between CDMA and GSM

Difference between CDMA and GSM

Difference between CDMA and GSM

GSM and CDMA are different strategies to achieve the same goal. The fact that very popular networks are built on each simply demonstrates that it’s the caliber of the circle, not the standard, that is important.

Both the terms are related to telecommunication, and many of the users don’t have any idea that what is the difference between these two technologies. It is obvious that GSM is a newer technology and has the edge over CDMA. Here are the differences between the two technologies.


  • GSM stands for Global system for mobile communication.
  • CDMA stands for code division multiple access.


  • GSM uses multiple band frequency having following frequencies 850, 900, 1800,1900 MHz.
  • CDMA uses single band frequency having a frequency of 850 MHz.

Data Transfer Ability:

  • GSM transfers data with the following technologies i.e. LTE, 4G, 3G, GPRS.
  • CDMA uses following technologies for data transferring EVDO, LTE 3G, 4G.

Difference between CDMA and GSM


  • GSM is not device specific which means you don’t need to stick to specific handset because it is SIM based technology.
  • For CDMA you have to use the specific handset.

Type of Storage Used:

  • In GSM subscriber identification module (SIM) is used as memory.
  • In CDMA handsets internal memory is used as storage medium.


  • All over the world, GSM is very much dominant over CDMA except the United States of America.
  • GSM technology has almost covered 85% of the market all over the world.

How it Works:

A mobile phone using GSM technology has several towers attached to it, and when it moves from one place to other, it accesses the other towers to retain the connection. It means this technology uses multiple sources.

However, in CDMA there is one physical channel in which there is a special code for every device in that coverage network. That code of every device is used to for multiplexing the signal.

International Access:

  • International access of GSM is effortless and convenient.
  • CDMA international access is very difficult.

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