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Time division multiple access (TDMA) is digital transmission technology that allows a number of users to access a single radio-frequency (RF) channel without interference by allocating unique time slots to each user within each channel.

TDMA works by dividing a radio frequency into time slots and then allocating slots to multiple calls. In this way, a single frequency can support multiple, simultaneous data channels. TDMA is used by the GSM digital cellular system.

The TDMA digital transmission scheme multiplexes three signals over a single channel. The current TDMA standard for cellular divides a single channel into six time slots, with each signal using two slots, providing a 3 to 1 gain in capacity over advanced mobile-phone service (AMPS). Each caller is assigned a specific time slot for transmission microwave transmission.


TDMA features--

Shares single carrier frequency with multiple users

Non-continuous transmission makes handoff simpler

Slots can be assigned on demand in dynamic TDMA

Less stringent power control than CDMA due to reduced intra cell interference

Higher synchronization overhead than CDMA

Advanced equalization is necessary for high data rates

Cell breathing (borrowing resources from adjacent cells) is more complicated than in CDMA

Frequency/slot allocation complexity

Pulsating power envelop: Interference with other devices