Code division multiple access (CDMA) is a cellular frequency that, originally developed during World War II for military purposes, incorporates "spread spectrum" techniques. Unlike other cellular systems like GSM and TDMA, every channel on the network uses the full available spectrum. This allows each user (identified by a unique pseudonoise code (PN)) to communicate over several frequencies, as opposed to only one. This allows for better coverage, usually better signal strength, and a higher capacity to allow multiple users to connect at any given time.
QUALCOMM developed the key advances that made CDMA suitable for cellular phones and conducted an open demonstration in San Diego in November 1989.
The first CDMA network were launched commercially in 1995 as cdmaOne and provided approximately 10 times more capacity than analog networks. CDMA has become the fastest-growing of all wireless technologies, with over 100 million subscribers worldwide.
- Greater capacity. Provides 10-20 times the capacity of analog equipment and three times the capacity of other digital platforms.
- Excellent voice and call quality through the filtering out of background noise, cross-talk, and interference.
- Rapid deployment. CDMA systems can be expanded quickly and more cost effectively than most landline networks.
- Fewer dropped calls
- Improved security and privacy because of CDMA's digitally encoded transmissions. Reduced background noise and interference by combining multiple signals which improves signal strength