CDMA is a "spread spectrum" technology, allowing many users to occupy the same time and frequency allocations in a given band/space. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) assigns unique codes to each communication to differentiate it from others in the same spectrum. In a world of finite spectrum resources, CDMA enables many more people to share the airwaves at the same time than do alternative technologies.
The CDMA air interface is used in both 2G and 3G networks. 2G CDMA standards are branded cdmaOne™ and include IS-95A and IS-95B. CDMA is the foundation for 3G services: the two dominant IMT-2000 standards, CDMA2000® and WCDMA, are based on CDMA.