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GSM Handsets -vs- CDMA Handsets

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Okay, which one is better? GSM Handsets or CDMA Handsets — let’s find out!

What is CDMA?

CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access. First developed during World War II by English allies to foil German attempts at jamming communication lines. CDMA allows users to transmit communciations over several different frequencies. It’s a digital modulation called Spread Spectrum.

CDMA Advantages:

  • Cost less. Consistently lower priced compared to GSM.
  • Currently, the call quality is better as compared to GSM.
  • Offer economical services and are a urban market hit.

CDMA Disadvantages:

  • Less variety of handsets as compared to GSM.
  • Incompatible with GSM handsets.
  • Can not offer international roaming.
  • No SIM card. Have to stay with the same phone for a long time.

What is GSM?

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile. It was developed in the 1980’s as a new technology to advance both signaling and speech channels to new levels of digital.

GSM handsets use SIM cards which are small detachable smart cards containing the user’s important subscription data/information. This is what some indicate as the the main advantage of GSM handsets as compared to CDMA handsets.

Advantages of GSM service:

  • SIM cards. Removable smart card containing subscription info.
  • Roaming. Talk anywhere in the world.
  • Variety of handsets & service providers are available to choose from.
  • Call quality is comparatively more secure & better.
  • More stable network and robust features as compared to CDMA.
  • Power consumption is less than CDMA handsets.

Disadvantages of GSM service:

  • Higher cost. Roaming call costs are almost always higher than CDMA handsets.
  • GSM phones are not full proof & and can be tampered with.
  • There is the chance of losing all your data if the SIM card is lost or damaged. (No physical memory)

In the end, most people choose GSM handsets due to better facilities by the operators. That’s what I did. I chose the GSM handset. It’s a more stable and robust network. However, CDMA is certainly in the mix. It’s a growing network and one to keep an eye one in the long haul.

As you can imagine, one reason I prefer GSM is because of the SIM card. I like the capability of being able to transfer the SIM card from phone to phone and still have access to the system. Whereas, with the CDMA handsets the memory is all held on the device so it’s not as flexible. Also, I’ve found GSM as the pioneer of the text message craze. It is at the frontier of SMS and MMS messaging. These services will become more and more demanded as multimedia hits the mobile market in mass.

The handset segment of the mobile industry will continue to bloom over the next decade. No doubt. In my opinion, GSM will be at the frontier of this future technology.

So there you have it. GSM handsets vs CDMA handsets. Which will you choose?

Free Cell Phones

Written by Ron Reed

September 18th, 2010 at 1:49 pm