FDMA (frequency division multiple access) definition

Contributor(s): Washington Rodriguez Sanchez

FDMA (frequency division multiple access) is the division of the frequency band allocated for wireless cellular telephone communication into 30 channels, each of which can carry a voice conversation or, with digital service, carry digital data. FDMA is a basic technology in the analog Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS), the most widely-installed cellular phone system installed in North America. With FDMA, each channel can be assigned to only one user at a time. FDMA is also used in the Total Access Communication System (TACS).

The Digital-Advanced Mobile Phone Service (D-AMPS) also uses FDMA but adds time division multiple access (TDMA) to get three channels for each FDMA channel, tripling the number of calls that can be handled on a channel.

This was first published in September 2005

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