Technology

Difference between GSM and WCDMA

Main difference

GSM (Global System for mobile) and WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) are two types of wireless technologies or radio system technologies. Most people are familiar with GSM, but only a few know about WCDMA. The main difference between GSM and WCDMA is that GSM is a 2G technology while WCDMA is a 3G technology.

What is GSM?

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile that describes the protocol for 2G (2nd generation) digital cellular networks used by mobile phones. It is the default global standard for mobile communications since 2014. Today, 76% of the market share is owned by GSM and it operates in more than 219 countries around the world. The 2G network replaced the 1G analog cellular networks, and after that, GSM entered the field that originally described a circuit-switched, digital network that is optimized for full-duplex voice telephony. GSM is wholly owned by the GSM Association and GSM is the company’s trademark.

What is WCDMA?

WCDMA stands for Wideband Code Division Multiple Access which describes the protocol for 3G digital cellular networks used by mobile phones. It is an air interface standard found in 3G mobile telecommunications networks. In addition to normal cellular services such as voice and audio calls, MMS, and text service, it transfers data at high speeds, resulting in the delivery of higher bandwidth applications including streaming and high-speed Internet access. wide. It uses the same core network as the 2G GSM networks used globally, allowing dual-mode mobile operation alongside GSM/EDGE.

Key differences

  1. GSM is used all over the world, while WCDMA is only used in the US.
  2. GSM has a 76% market share while WCDMA is in the progress phase.
  3. WCDMA is more advanced and contains more features compared to GSM.
  4. The speed and performance of WCDMA are much higher than GSM.
  5. GSM uses GPRS / E / 4G / LTE technologies for data transfer. WCDMA uses DS-CDMA channel access method and FDD duplexing method to achieve higher speed.
  6. GSM is a 2G technology, while WCDMA is a 3G technology.
  7. The carrier size of WCDMA is 5 MHz CDMA while that of GSM is 200 kHz TDMA.
  8. WCDMA supports downlink which favors transmission diversity. GSM does not support this.

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