CDMA (code division multiple access) : A packet-based wireless-access technology that was improved and commercialized by Qualcomm. CDMA is used in certain cellular phone systems and in some wireless local-area networks, or WLANs. The major benefit of CDMA is increased capacity, up to 20 times that of analog service. CDMA increases capacity through more efficient use of spectrum. Specifically, it permits many radios to share the same frequency channel. Unlike TDMA (time division multiple access), a competing system used in GSM, all radios using CDMA can be active all the time because network capacity does not directly limit the number of active radios. Since larger numbers of phones can be served by smaller numbers of cell sites, CDMA-based standards have a significant economic advantage over older, TDMA-based standards.