Difference Between CDMA and WCDMA
CDMA vs WCDMA
CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access, which is a type of algorithm used in telecommunications to squeeze more usable channels within the same bandwidth. WCDMA is Wideband CDMA that still uses code division to divide the channels. The most major difference between CDMA and WCDMA is in the group of technology that it is grouped with. CDMA is a 2G technology and is a direct competitor to GSM, which is the most widely deployed technology. WCDMA is a 3G technology that is often used in tandem with GSM to provide both 2G and 3G capabilities within the same area of coverage. WCDMA and CDMA do not belong to the same line as the 3G technology of CDMA is called EV-DO and is the competitor to WCDMA.
As indicated by being a part of the 3G group of technologies, you can clearly see that WCDMA can offer much faster speeds and take advantage of the more recent services that cannot be found within basic 2G. WCDMA is also better suited for accessing the internet and emails compared to the very slow CDMA.
As indicated by the word wideband, WCDMA uses a much wider bandwidth than that of CDMA. WCDMA uses frequency bands that are 5Mhz wide compared to CDMA where each frequency band is only 1.25Mhz wide. Contrary to the popular belief that only the bandwidth has been changed with WCDMA, the differences between the two are much bigger as WCDMA was designed from the ground up and was not derived from the CDMA design. Despite this, both technologies still use code division to create a greater number of channels within the same given bandwidth and only the algorithms used vary and not the basic concept behind it.
Due to the much wider acceptance of GSM, a lot of telecommunications companies who had CDMA and EV-DO networks are beginning to adapt the GSM and WCDMA technology. This is to allow compatibility with the greater majority and to open up the options of their subscribers in terms of handset options.
1. CDMA is a 2G technology while WCDMA is a 3G technology
2. CDMA and WCDMA are not used together
3. WCDMA offers much faster speeds compared to CDMA
4. CDMA uses frequency bands 1.25Mhz wide while WCDMA uses frequency bands 5Mhz wide
5. The WCDMA doesn’t share the same design as CDMA
6. CDMA and its successors are being phased out in favor of GSM and WCDMA
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