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What is TDMA?

by Sonali

TDMA is used where there is no need for continuous transmission. Due to this it can be used instead of FDMA. It is also known as Time Division Multiple Access.

  • In this time slot allocated to users is non- overlapping.
  •  The entire user shares single frequency.
  •  The data transmission is in bursts instead of continuous.
  •  No need to use duplexers as there are different time slots for different transmissions.
  •  The bandwidth supply is on demand basis. We can use by reassigning the time slot.

It is based on time slots. TDMA is more flexible than FDMA scheme.  To have synchronization in communication Dynamic allocation of channels or by some fixed pattern channels are allotted for time slots.

Fixed channels are allocated for communication as a best practice. As it is seen that for wireless phone systems in Medium Access Control (MAC) reserved time slot access is crucial.

Advantages of TDMA

The main advantages of this technique are

  • TDMA also permits flexible rates.
  • Then Frame by frame we can change the number of users. Therefore, it can persist variable bit rate traffic.
  • Wideband systems do not require guard bands.
  • Due to which there is no need for a narrowband filter. 


The few disadvantages of this technique are as follow

  • For high data rates of broadband system requires complex equalization.
  • It requires large number of bits for synchronization and supervision due to burst mode.
  • Due to clock instability it requires call time in each slot in order to accommodate time inaccuracies.
  • So the energy consumption increases at high bit rates.
  • It requires complex signal processing for synchronization in short slots.

First application of this technique was in satellite communication. The application of multifrequency TDMA is in satellite communication. Also used in Passive Optical Networks (PON).

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