Difference Between WCDMA and GSM (With Table)

WCDMA vs GSM

The difference between WCDMA and GSM is the frequency band that is being used by them. WCDMA is a member of the new 3G technology group, whereas GSM is a 2G technology. WCDMA is the technology that people prefer today since it is advanced and newer and it is replacing GSM network which is slowly being eliminated now.

WCDMA stands for Wideband Code Division Multiple Access and GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communication. Both are mobile communication standards that are used in mobile networks to keep up all communications between mobiles.

WCDMA is a technology which is used in 3G mobile networks and helps to hold all mobile communications. These communications can include text messages, voice calls, or data transfer. WCDMA uses Radio Access Technology to convey different data kinds.  GSM is a technology that is used in 2G mobile networks. It is mobile communication that has another manner of working. It is used mainly in Europe.


 

Comparison Table Between WCDMA and GSM (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonWCDMAGSM
NetworkWCDMA is a technology that is used in 3G mobile networks.GSM is used in 2G mobile networks and it came into existence much before the WCDMA.
SpeedThe speed and efficiency is better in WCDMA. This is because of the technology that is used in the network.The speed and efficiency are not up to the mark in GSM as compared to WCDMA.
UseWCDMA is used all over the world, so if you are using a mobile that has WCDMA support, there won't be any issues in switching to different networks.GSM was evolved in Europe and so it is mainly used there.Hence phones with GSM may be suitable in other regions.
Year of first useWCDMA was first introduced in 2001.GSM was first introduced in 1991.
Area of coverageThe area of coverage for WCDMA is more.The area of coverage for GSM is less.
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What is WCDMA?

WCDMA, which stands for Wideband Code Division Multiple Access, is a communication standard that is used in 3G mobile networks. It helps to support all mobile communications by using radiofrequency. The communications include MMS, text messaging, voice calls and data transfer.

It also allows the network providers the capability to use broadband internet services. FOMA was the first WCDMA network, it stands for Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access and was first started in Japan in 2001.

Today WCDMA is the technology that most people prefer because it is better, advanced and newer. Hence it is being installed in many regions and may soon replace GSM.

Though WCDMA is becoming popular and being used in all mobile devices, there are a few models that do not assist WCDMA. Hence when you buy a new mobile phone, you should always make sure that it supports WCDMA, so that you can switch from one network to another.

Features of WCDMA:

  1. It is strong for multiway delays.
  2. It has smooth connectivity world-wide.
  3. The signals of data quality and voice are high.
  4. The error rates are small-scaled.
  5. The high bandwidth of 5 MHz is present.
WCDMA
 

What is GSM?

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communication. It is a technology that is used in 2G mobile networks, for supporting all mobile communications.

Presently, GSM is the standard that is most largely used. It came into existence way before WCDMA and used radio technology to transfer data. It was first used in 1991 and evolved in Europe.

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The speed and the efficiency are less in GSM, but it still keeps the communication going smoothly. It ensures that the messages and the calls are carried out in a proper way.

The area of coverage of GSM is less today. It is not much used in phones nowadays.

It can be observed that WCDMA is becoming popular and more common in mobile phones and soon it will replace and lay off GSM. But today, GSM is the most widely used technology all over the world.

Features of GSM:

  1. The speech quality is high.
  2. In order to make calls secure, it uses encryption.
  3. It has a Short Message Service. (SMS)
  4. It is compatible with the integrated services digital network (ISDN).
  5. It supports international roaming.
GSM 1

Main Differences Between WCDMA and GSM

  • Both were started for Mobile communications, but WCDMA is a technology that is used in 3G mobile networks whereas GSM is a technology that is used in 2G mobile networks. GSM came into existence much before the WCDMA.
  • WCDMA is used worldwide whereas GSM evolved in Europe and so the phones that support GSM might not be suitable in other regions.
  • WCDMA is being preferred more nowadays since it is newer, more advanced and transfers 3G data which is definitely faster than 2G data. It covers the area of GSM and is replacing it.
  • The speed and the efficiency are more in WCDMA because of the technology used in this network, whereas the speed in GSM is less.
  • GSM was first introduced in 1991, whereas WCDMA came into existence in 2001.
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Conclusion

The telecommunication companies are having issues today mainly because of the difference in the frequency bands. The phones that support only GSM cannot communicate with the phones that support only WCDMA and the phones that support only WCDMA cannot communicate with the phones that support only GSM.

To avoid this problem, the phone manufacturers must include both the frequency bands, 2G and 3G. When they do this, the mobile phones can be switched to any network, or they may install a WCDMA network along with the existing GSM network in order to give 3G services while still being compatible with the older mobile phones.

Almost all phones support WCDMA with bandwidth and efficiency. There are also some phones that support both, WCDMA and GSM.

WCDMA, being more advanced, newer and faster, is being preferred by most people and so it is being installed in many more areas that are engrossed with GSM. This might soon replace and withdraw the use of GSM. But today, GSM is the most widely used technology in the entire world.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between WCDMA and GSM

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on WCDMA and GSM. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Difference Between WCDMA and GSM