Stands for “Code Division Multiple Access.” CDMA is a wireless transmission technology that was developed during World War II by the English allies to avoid having their transmissions jammed. After the war ended, Qualcomm patented the technology and made it commercially available as a digital cellular technology. Now CDMA is a popular communications method used by many cell phone companies.
Unlike the GSM and TDMA technologies, CDMA transmits over the entire frequency range available. It does not assign a specific frequency to each user on the communications network. This method, called multiplexing, is what made the transmissions difficult to jam during World War II. Because CDMA does not limit each user’s frequency range, there is more bandwidth available. This allows more users to communicate on the same network at one time than if each user was allotted a specific frequency range.
Because CDMA is a digital technology, analog audio signals must be digitized before being transmitted on the network. CDMA is used by 2G and 3G wireless communications and typically operates in the frequency range of 800 MHz to 1.9 GHz.