Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA)

TDMA users share a common frequency channel but use the channel for only a very short time. They are given a time slot and only allowed to transmit during that time slot. When all available time slots in a given frequency are used, the next user must be assigned a time slot on another frequency. These time slices are so small that the human ear does not perceive the time slicing. Examples of TDMA-based systems are the following:

  • Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) in Europe
  • TDMA IS-136 in US


In TDMA one user can transmit and receive data only during the predetermined time interval.