Difference between CDMA and LTE

Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a protocol used for 2G and 3G communication. In CDMA, a channel carries all types of transmission simultaneously without division of bandwidth or time. Data from different stations is transmitted simultaneously using different code modulation.

Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a high-performance interface for cellular mobile communications. It supports high-speed networks and at present, it is the fastest network protocol for smartphones and mobile phones.

Read through this article to find out more about CDMA and LTE and how they are different from each other.

What is CDMA?

CDMA uses a single channel to carry all signals at the same time. There is no such thing as bandwidth or temporal division. If there are several people in a room speaking at the same time, for example, flawless data reception is also achievable if just two individuals speak the same language. Similarly, data from several stations can be broadcast in different coding languages at the same time.

  • Different radio communication methods employ CDMA as a channel access mechanism. Many access is exemplified by CDMA, which allows multiple transmitters to communicate data over a single communication channel at the same time. This permits several users to share a frequency band.

  • CDMA uses spread-spectrum technology and a specific coding method to do this without causing excessive interference between users (where each transmitter is assigned a code).

  • Because CDMA communicates throughout the whole frequency range and does not limit the user's frequency range, it maximizes the utilization of available bandwidth.

  • It may also be utilized as a channel or medium access technology, such as ALOHA, or as a permanent pilot/signaling channel, allowing users to synchronize their local oscillators to a common system frequency while also permanently calculating channel characteristics.

The CDMA technology allows for full bandwidth use. It assigns each signal a unique code before transmitting them throughout the channel's whole bandwidth. A set of codes are used to distinguish the various CDMA signals that pass over the channel.

Each signal is given its own spreading code in the CDMA method. It aids in the differentiation of various signals in a channel. The signal is subsequently detected at the receiver's end using a set of orthogonal codes.

A CDMA station's base station has several distinct codes. When it gets numerous signals from different base stations, it uses the spreading codes to discriminate between them (these are orthogonal). It eliminates all the risks of interference by using orthogonal coding. It implies that all users in a CDMA network utilize the same frequency, but they all have separate codes.

What is LTE?

LTE is a wireless broadband communication standard for mobile devices and data terminals based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies in telecommunications. It improves the capacity and speed of the network by employing a new radio interface in conjunction with core network enhancements.

For carriers with both GSM/UMTS and CDMA2000 networks, LTE is the upgrading path. Because various nations utilize different LTE frequencies and bands, only multi-band phones can use LTE in all countries that allow it.

The development of a high-performance air interface for cellular mobile communication systems is known as LTE. It is employed in the advancement of a number of mobile telecommunications systems. It is a network of high-speed data transmission. For smartphones and mobile gadgets, it is the fastest wireless network.

Difference between CDMA and LTE

The following table highlights the major differences between CDMA and LTE.

CDMA is a set of protocols used in 2G and 3G mobile communication networks.
LTE is a protocol used in 4G broadband technology; it provides high-speed data access.
CDMA is a set of protocols for 2G/3G wireless communication.
LTE is nowadays the de-facto standard for 4G high-speed wireless communication.
CDMA uses Spread-Spectrum Multiple Access (SSMA) for transmission.
LTE uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) for transmission.
SIM Cards
CDMA does not require a SIM Card(s) for authentication.
LTE requires SIM Card(s) for authentication. A handset that uses LTE network must be authenticated using a SIM card.
Multi-path Signal
CDMA cannot handle the multi-path signal properly.
LTE can handle multi-path signals efficiently.


LTE supports high-speed data transmission and it is the de-facto standard for 4G wireless communication. CDMA, on the other hand, is a protocol used in 2G and 3G communication. CDMA was popular because it could maximize the utilization of available bandwidth without causing much interference.