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Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by Rollindown95, Jul 8, 2006.
what does this mean, especially in terms of towers? do all cell phones have tdma?
TDMA is a type of modulation technique for mobile telephony. It is a way to multiplexing multiple calls into a channel of a given bandwith. TDMA is misued term, much like Xerox is for photocopying. There are two mobile telephony standards today that use TDMA - IS-136 and GSM. IS-136 is what is called TDMA by everyone. It is dying out and should vanish in another couple of years. GSM is another standard that uses TDMA as the modulation technique. GSM is used by Cingular and T-Mobile (and many other regional carriers) in the US.
The other major modulation technique is called CDMA. Once again, there are several telephony standards based on CDMA. Once again, just like the Xerox analogy, when most people refer to CDMA, they are referring to what is called CDMA2000 which is used by Verizon, Sprint and Alltel ubiquitously for their voice calls.
However, almost all future telephony standards are based on CDMA. There are 2 major evolution paths - the GSM carriers will by and large switch to a standard called W-CDMA or UMTS. The CDMA2000 carriers will switch to something called 1xEV-DO primarily for their data transmission.
So, to answer your question - all cell phones do not "have" TDMA. Currently both the IS-136 (called TDMA in common parlance) and GSM phones use TDMA.