- History of CDMA
The development of CDMA technology was started in the 1960s for a military purpose in the U.S. due to its characteristics of security. CDMA was developed by Qualcomm, an American venture company, and adopted as the U.S. mobile communication standard. After a successful commercial launching in Korea, this technology became used widely.
The application of CDMA technology is not only to the current cellular/PCS mobile communication but also to WLL (Wireless Local Loop), satellite communication and next generation mobile communications.
- CDMA's advantages
The reason of CDMA's rapid growth since its first debut in the late 1990s can be accounted for its advantages in technological, service and economical factors.
A. Technological Advantages
① When compared to GSM, its rival telecommunication standard, CDMA shows better performance in audio quality, battery life, communication security and frequency usage efficiency.
Audio quality is as good as that of landline communication without connections breaks. This technology provides a fairly good service in a poor radio communication environment
② CDMA minimizes power consumption and has a superior battery life (standby and talktime) to analogue. Theoretically, CDMA mobile devices consume 20%~ 30% less battery power than GSM devices.
③ CDMA's security capability is far better than GSM.
④ CDMA's high frequency usage efficiency enables the system to support 9 to 10 times more subscribers than conventional analogue type, and 3 to 5 times than GSM service.
B. Advantages on Subscriber Service
① As the market is getting bigger and the competition getting fierce, mobile service providers are prompted to seek more subscribers and less service charges. CDMA stands on an advantageous position in terms of major competitiveness factor of mobile communication business in the future: talktime sales. The reason is that this technology can provide mobile service to more subscribers with lower rate the same cost as other technologies, The reason is that this technology can accommodate more subscribers with the same cost other technologies spend. Consequently, this leads to a lower service rate.
② Technological improvement of voice data quality and progress in additional service of CDMA have enabled mixed service of mobile telephone and WLL within a network. This means that separating mobile communication subscribers from residing wireless communication subscribers and applying different service rate is now possible. It also is possible for mobile service providers to apply a higher service rate when their subscribers move from a specific area of coverage to another.
③ CDMA technology can control the area of coverage and the network can be designed and operated with smaller number of base transceiver stations than GSM system needs.
C. Advantages on Economy Factors
① Without affordable system and devices, no technology can survive in the market. Customers will not be interested in any excellent technology which needs too expensive system and devices. In the early days, the price of a CDMA device was more or less higher than that of GSM, because of Qualcomm's monopoly on CDMA chips and loose integration of surrounding circuits. However, as other semiconductor manufacturers produce CDMA chips, the price gap between CDMA and GSM devices is expected to be disappeared.
② When compared to GSM, CDMA system needs 70% of base transceiver stations and can save 40% of network setting investment thanks to its frequency usage efficiency. This guarantees high profit and investment efficiency. As to license fees, CDMA system requires higher software license fees, but GSM needs more advance and recurrent license fees. When considering the total cost, CDMA is more competitive on license fees over GSM.