CDMA has been around for over 80 years. In 1935, Soviet Union professor Dmitriy Ageev published a paper exclusively on the technology.
Although the technology had been written about numerous times, it took Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil to theorise that multiple frequencies could be used to send a single radio transmission. The two were inspired by the way musical notes are arranged and found that “frequency hopping” could prevent a radio signal from being jammed.
The two patented the idea and gave it to the US government for use in WWII. However, the technology was largely ignored and the patent expired.
It would however, take until October 1988 for CDMA to be accept for commercial telecommunication applications. A successful demonstration of a CDMA system happened in San Diego, US, the following year.
Qualcomm is credited with the first successful tests and in 1993 it was accepted as an industry standard before a 1995 commercial roll out began.
Since then, CDMA has been adopted by dozens of operators worldwide. By 1999, 83 operators in 35 countries had adopted the system. The total subscription base was 50.1 million people.
By 2011, the figure increased to 626.3 million CDMA subscribers worldwide, including 625.7 million CDMA2000 subscribers and 208.9 million EV-DO subscribers.
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Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil
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