Updated April 12, 2023
Difference Between CDMA vs LTE
CDMA or Code Division Multiple Access is a mobile communication standard that uses radio communication technology. Many transmitters can send information through a single channel, and there will not be any communication problem between them. Multiple users can share the same band of frequencies. CDMA is an access method in many mobile standards. Long Term Evolution or LTE is a communication standard in 4G mobile devices. The wireless broadband service uses radio communication to increase capacity and speed. The speed is ten times greater than the 3G network. Data is moved to the internet system at a rapid speed. In this topic, we are going to learn about CDMA VS LTE.
Head to Head Comparison Between CDMA vs LTE (Infographics)
Below are the top differences between CDMA and LTE
Key Differences between CDMA vs LTE
Below are some of the key differences between CDMA and LITE:
- CDMA was developed in the 1990s to connect phones through a 2G connection, whereas LTE was developed in the 2000s to connect phones with 4G connections. CDMA helps in the connection of data and cellular while LTE helps only in 4G data connection. This is being improved now, and it is helping in the connection of voice calls.
- CDMA phones do not require SIM cards. They have a unique identification number which they use to identify users. The numbers are serial numbers so that the users are identified easily. LTE phones use SIM cards, which helps the user make necessary changes to the phone whenever they need it. LTE provisions are made in most phones now, and hence switching phones is not a problem.
- Since there are no SIM cards in CDMA phones, it isn’t easy to switch phones by the user. The user has to inform the carrier about the new phone, and the serial number has to be assigned to the new phone. Carriers may create problems if the phones are not bought for them, and they may not assign the serial number to the new phone. This will make the user change the phone number, which is not easy. LTE does not have any of these problems as there is a SIM card while changing the phone. We can insert the old SIM card and use the phone.
- Wireless users were using airwaves instead of any technologies in the phones, and this name is CDMA. We can call it a spread spectrum. CDMA was used in the US, and GSM was used in Europe. LTE is a broadband technology that uses the transfer of data alone in the network. It enables a faster network, and the user is benefitted from this.
- CDMA was an advancement in technology as it could combine and use both data and voice calls which was not possible during the 1990s. It had a good spectrum efficiency. The advancement of CDMA paved the way for GSM and then UMTS, which finally reached LTE. Though LTE does not support voice calls now, high-speed internet is an advantage that any other technology could not boast about.
- In CDMA, the phone is controlled by the operator, which makes the phone and security of the user vulnerable. But in LTE, the phone and operator have no connection due to the SIM card. The operator has no control over the phone, which has a SIM card and hence security is not compromised in LTE standards phones.
CDMA vs LTE Comparison Table
Let’s see some more differences between CDMA and LTE through a comparison table for clear understanding:
|CDMA represents a 2G network in the US. When 3G networks came into existence, an enhanced version of CDMA was used to incorporate the network in the phones.||LTE represents 4G networks, and most of the new phones use LTE. We can say that LTE is an enhanced version of CDMA with full internet and full IP.|
|Several transmitters can send information through a single communication channel, and different bands of frequencies are shared in the network. Though the same channel is used, there is no communication interference in the network. Voice calls are the priority in CDMA.||The working of LTE is different from CDMA. It is developed from GSM technology, and speed is improved well when compared with CDMA. Radio frequencies are used in LTE, but with different technology and data, the connection is the priority in LTE.|
|CDMA is used in almost all the phones in the US, but in Europe, GSM is used, which is slightly different from CDMA. Technology and architecture are different, and all people will not understand CDMA easily.||LTE is the new global standard for communication, and all people can understand LTE easily. This is used in almost all phones now, and understanding LTE helps the user understand mobile phones’ communication through radio waves.|
|The military first developed CDMA as it follows certain protocols, and the user has no control over the phone. This helped to be secretive about military operations.||LTE is a collaborative project of 2G and 3G by a company called 3GPP, and this is well advanced than CDMA.|
|Using a single channel is not a problem in CDMA as each phone has a unique serial number, and this helps to identify the signals.||The technology used in LTE is the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. Also, Frequency Division Duplex and Time Division Duplex is used to transmit data.|
|The signal cannot be handled in different paths as easily as LTE due to the phone’s absence of SIM cards. Also, data is transferred at a low speed.||The signals can be handled easily, even if it is in a single path or different paths. SIM cards help in this aspect, and also, data is transferred at high speed.|
|A set of protocols is assigned with CDMA.||There are no protocols assigned with LTE, and this works efficiently.|
|CDMA is no longer used in phones, and an enhanced version of CDMA is used along with LTE for voice calls.||Flexibility and efficiency, along with availability, make LTE more preferable among the users.|
We want both CDMA and LTE for the proper working of cell phones. CDMA is used for voice calls, and LTE is used for the data connection. One cannot be replaced for another. However, some new generation phones are using voice calls in LTE to avoid CDMA use in their technology.
This is a guide to CDMA VS LTE. Here we discuss the CDMA vs LTE key differences, head to head comparison with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –