Cell Phone Infrastructure: GSM or CDMA

Published: 20th April 2010
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The two most popular cell phone backbones are GSM and CDMA.CDMA has been around since the 1940s, however it has only been used commercially since the mid 1990s.CDMA, whichs stands for Code division multiple access is used by service providers such as Verizon and Sprint.All of these huge companies use CDMA technology.Although CDMA is not used as much as GSM througouht the world it still has millions of subscribers in the US, Verizon, a CDMA carrier is number one in subscribers.

GSM Technology

The second and more popular of the two is GSM.The first GSM network was launched in 1991 by Radiolinja in Finland with joint technical infrastructure maintenance from Ericsson.Hogging a huge 80% share of the worldwide market, GSM is widely considered the standard for cell phone communicationSome manufactuers only make GSM compatible phones due to this.Powerhousees such as AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM for the backing of their networks.Although GSM dates all the way back to the mid 1980s, like CDMA only became avalible to consumers during the late 1990s.One of my favorite things about GSM is that is uses Subscriber Identification Modules, commonly known as a "sim card". The SIM is a detachable smart card containing the user's subscription information and phone book. This is a huge conveince, allowing a user to store his or her contacts and phone numbers on it Alternatively, the user can also change operators while retaining the handset simply by changing the SIM. Some operators will block this by allowing the phone to use only a single SIM, or only a SIM issued by them; this practice is known as SIM locking, and is illegal in some countries.

Why GSM is the standard for cell phone carriers

It is not a coincedeince that GSM is considered the standard for mobile phone communication and and also of the cell phone market worldwide.GSM is a more standardized system, while is not.GSM users are able to "roam"(which simply means getting signal off of other carriers towers, when your carrier is not avalible in the area).Due to the differnces in technlogy and infrastructure CDMA users are unable to "roam" and arebinded only to their networks service area.Another advantage of GSM is the use of SIM cards, which holds the users phonebook, phone callsand subscriber information, which means you are able to swap phones in as little time as it takes you to change the sim cards, while if you are using CDMAif you want to swap phones you are forced to visit your carrier's nearest office and have them program you a new phone,as a result everytime a user changes cell phones they have to manually add their contacts into the new phone, which can sometimes be a pain.

For More Info

My article about Unlocked Cell Phones

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