OFDM vs. OFDMA: The Difference

March 1, 2022

One of the terms mentioned frequently while talking about cable modems/gateways with WiFi functions are OFDM and OFDMA. Those are mechanisms used for both DOCSIS and WiFi signal transmission. In this article, we are going to talk about what they mean and the difference. 

What is OFDM?

OFDM stands for Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. It is a form of multi-carrier modulation, in which multiple subcarrier signals with overlapping spectra are transmitted to carry data parallely across multiple channels. For example, if you are using a cable eMTA with WiFi 5 supporting OFDM, the voice and data signals will be sent and received at the same time

What is OFDMA?

OFDMA stands for Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing Access. It is an extension of OFDM. When it comes to WiFi 6 (802.11ax), this technology is critical for more efficiency and lower latency for networking.

Features and advantages of OFDMA:

  1. Data packets are combined into a larger one and delivered to multiple users at once, reducing bandwidth workload and improving efficiency
  2. Increase transmission performance for long frames with lower latency
  3. Increase the number of devices connected to the router
  4. Reduce power consumption

As OFDMA combines transmissions and sends frames to multiple endpoints simultaneously, it is ideal for things like IoT devices, video, online gaming, and automation applications.

Here’s a diagram to explain their difference:


Hitron offers whole-home solutions including WiFi 6 gateways and WiFi extenders, to enhance your networking experience. If you would like to learn more about our solutions, please contact our Sales team.

Recent Posts

Improve Your Customer Wi-Fi Experience Without Maxing Your Resources

Improving your customers’ Wi-Fi experience doesn’t have to require maxing out your resources. In fact, there are ways for you to do more for your customers with less. Which is great news, especially during the current times when resources feel thin, but the demand...

Wi-Fi 6 is gateway tool to hybrid model

Reference to WiFi Alliance, The Beacon Blog: The emergence of the hybrid world with Wi-Fi 6 With the end of the pandemic on the horizon, we all are gradually shifting from a remote setup to the hybrid model of work, study and play, a flexible combination of remote and...

Do you need a Wi-Fi 6 Cable Gateway?

Compared to Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 can bring lots of benefits -higher performance, low latency, fast speed and broader frequency range. In 2022, Wi-Fi 6 will become more commonly used in daily lives, at home and working places. According to WiFi Alliance’s 2022 Wi-Fi trends...

Get Rid of Weak Wi-Fi Once and For All

A weak Wi-Fi signal means weak Wi-Fi. When you boost your Wi-Fi signal, your overall Wi-Fi coverage and performance improves. If you want to get rid of your weak Wi-Fi signal once and for all try these tips. How to Fix a Weak Wi-Fi Signal Fix your weak Wi-Fi signal...

Key Advantages of PON Internet

PON stands for passive optical network. It is a type of fiber-optic network. A PON system is designed to deliver broadband Internet access to your home or office by connecting you as a subscriber to your Internet service provider (ISP). A PON is a point-to-multipoint...