Definition

TDMA (time division multiple access)

TDMA (time division multiple access) is a technology used in digital cellular telephone communication that divides each cellular channel into three time slots in order to increase the amount of data that can be carried.

TDMA is used by Digital-American Mobile Phone Service (D-AMPS), Global System for Mobile communications (GSM), and Personal Digital Cellular (PDC). Each of these systems implements TDMA in somewhat different and potentially incompatible ways. An alternative multiplexing scheme to FDMA with TDMA is CDMA (code division multiple access), which takes the entire allocated frequency range for a given service and multiplexes information for all users across the spectrum range at the same time.

TDMA was first specified as a standard in EIA/TIA Interim Standard 54 (IS-54). IS-136, an evolved version of IS-54, is the United States standard for TDMA for both the cellular (850 MHz) and personal communications services (1.9 GHz) spectrums. TDMA is also used for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT).

This was last updated in November 2006

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