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Difference Between WCDMA and GSM

wcdmaWCDMA vs GSM
WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiplexing Access) and GSM are two technologies that are used in mobile telecommunications. The difference between these two is that GSM is a 2G technology and WCDMA is a part of the newer 3G group of technologies. Being newer and more advanced, WCDMA is now the technology that people want and it is slowly being deployed in a lot of areas that are already being occupied by GSM. Sooner or later, the WCDMA network would equal the coverage of GSM, making the GSM network redundant. With this said, it is clear that the GSM network is slowly being phased out and replaced with the newer and better WCDMA. But for now, GSM is still the most widespread technology that is used in the whole world. Surpassing all other 2G and 3G alternatives.

The primary reason why telecommunications companies are having problems with rapidly deploying is the difference in the frequency bands they use. Because of this, GSM only phones, cannot communicate with WCDMA only networks and vice versa. In order to circumvent this, it has become common for most phone manufacturers to include multiple frequency bands for both 2G networks and 3G networks. This ensures that their mobile phones can be used in almost any network and any location in the world. Telecommunications companies need to deploy a WCDMA network over their existing GSM network to provide 3G services while still maintaining compatibility with older mobile phones that are not compatible with WCDMA.

Although WCDMA support has become quite common in most mobile phones, there are still some models that do not support it. When you are buying a mobile phone, you should look at its specifications in order to make sure that it supports WCDMA and the frequencies available in your area. This is to ensure that you can use it in your country’s networks. Even non-GSM networks are choosing to add WCDMA support as it is the most popular 3G technology. Sooner or later older and competing network standards, namely GSM, CDMA, and EV-DO, would probably be phased out and replaced with WCDMA.

Summary:
1.WCDMA is a 3G technology while GSM is a 2G technology
2.GSM is slowly being phased out in favor of CDMA
3.GSM is still more widespread than CDMA
4.WCDMA and GSM uses different frequency bands
5.WCDMA offers much faster data speeds than GSM
6.WCDMA would soon replace GSM


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14 Comments

  1. hi i thing the hardware requirement should also be state for using this tech

  2. Will a WCDMA wireless phone work on Verizon system?

  3. Thanks, I am new to this!

  4. Here in Australia the cell phone providers are slowly phasing out 2g gsm 1.8 ghz is starting band for lte and 900 mhz for 3g umts with the 2.1 ghz 900 is still used for 2g gsm and it would look like it will get harder to make a phone call on 2g gsm 900 mhz with 1.8 ghz only for lte and i would look forward for gsm to get switched off but i do like 3g umts 850 mhz with the Telstra cell phone network and Vodafone Australia has just started 850 mhz with there 900 mhz and 2.1 ghz 3g umts. Here in Australia i have got phone reception up to 50 km away from the cell phone tower on the iPhone 4 and the call was very stable when on the beach being line of sight and that was on the 850 mhz band and the way i know this i can see what tower i was using just by the phone account. If you go away on holidays you can see how good is the phones reception when you get the account with tower location and where you were at that time and that shows you how good 850 mhz and 900 mhz 3g umts over 2g gsm is and i have got 35 km away from the same tower using 2g gsm 900 mhz that tower uses 850 mhz 3g umts 900 mhz 2g gsm on Telstra’s Rainbow Beach Queensland

  5. Grt, nw thats better to use 3G in wcdma mode with newer technology

  6. I like being on a network here in Australia that uses 850 mhz compare to 2.1 ghz and it is very a stable signal on the Telstra next g network and to anyone who comes from Canada and the USA roam on Telstra next g or get a prepaid sim card if your cell phone isn’t locked and it uses the 850 mhz umts and if you have a unlocked usb modem change the pan settings to internet.telstra and get a prepaid sim or get a prepaid modem from telstra and unlock it and it will work on the Telstra next g 850 mhz network and when you get home it will work on your 850 mhz network but change the apn settings when you get home and some of the Telstra modems will work on the 1.9 ghz band and i have seen that on the packaging before and if you are using the 1.9 ghz network in the USA check first but they all use 850 mhz

  7. Thank a lot for this post!!

  8. Just did a test on o2 UK,

    Loading a highly detailed website:
    GSM: 38.449 seconds
    WCDMA: 10.115 seconds

  9. I am i area of GSM network. If i buy a smartphone with 2G gsm/3G CDMA it will work at my network the 3G?

  10. IM USING (SONY XPERIA U) AND I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY 3G CONSUMPTION, I HAVE STOPED ALL MY UPDATES AND EVERYTHING THAT COULD USE 3G EXCEPT WHATSAPP,
    BEFORE I BUY THIS MOBILE (SONY) I WAS USING SAMSUNG ACE.
    I WAS USING MAXIMUM 3MB/DAY BUT WITH THE (SONY XPERIA U) MY CONSUMPTION IS REACHING 6 TO 8 MB/DAY. AND IN MY COUNTRY(LEBANON) I RECHARGE 100MB/MONTH FOR 10$ USD SO THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM IF IT KEEPS GOING THIS WAY (6-8MB)

    WHAT COULD BE THE PROBLEM?

  11. Nice post to improve our knowledge

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