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Telecom Courses : GPRS

Tutorial by:      Date: 2016-08-06 04:21:54

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GPRS-General packet radio service

Definition: GPRS is a cellular networking service that supports WAP, SMS text messaging, and other data communications. GPRS technology is integrated into so-called 2.5G mobile phones designed to provide faster data transfer speeds than older 2G cellular networks.

An always-on packet switching service, mobile Internet providers offered GPRS together with voice subscription packages before 3G and 4G technologies became popular. Customers originally paid for GPRS service according to how much network bandwidth they used in sending and receiving data until providers changed to offer flat-rate unlimited use packages.

GPRS is a slower alternative to EDGE 2.5G cellular networking. GPRS supports theoretical data rates up to 171 Kbps compared to the 473 Kbps speed of EDGE


General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Internet technology employs Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology to allow users to access the Internet from mobile phones with GSM capability. GPRS cell phones can transmit and receive packets, or units of data. This allows GSM network cell phone service providers to offer their users basic Internet services such as email and text messages.

GPRS Internet service also allows Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Internet browsing with a cell phone. With an average transmission speed of about 35 kilobits per second (kbps), GPRS Internet service is considered the first level of second-generation (2G) Internet mobile technology. Many personal digital assistants (PDAs) use GPRS Internet technology.

The user's specific cell phone number is not used to connect to a GPRS Internet service. Instead, the connection is made through an Access Point Name (APN). Users are billed according to how much data is transmitted during each session, as well as the overall level of data transmission during a specific billing period. This differs from voice calls, which are billed by the minute or by overall use subtracted from an allotment of time specified in the contract between the user and the cell phone provider.


Advantages of GPRS include:

  • High-speed: GPRS offers an optimum speed of 171.2 kbps, which is almost three times quicker than the data transfer speed of fixed telecommunications networks. Also, it is ten times faster than the existing GSM network services

  • Instant connection and immediate data transfer: GPRS provides instantaneous and steady connections, which permit data to be sent wherever and whenever required

  • Cost-effective solution: Minimizes the incremental expenditure required for providing data services. This in turn enables increase in the penetration of data services amongst business and consumer users

  • Innovative and superior applications: GPRS facilitates usage of Internet applications over mobile networks. This includes Web browsing, IM messages, e-commerce and location oriented applications. In addition, it allows for file transfer and the ability to remotely gain access for monitoring or controlling machines and house appliances


General packet radio service, or GPRS, is a wireless data service that enables you send information across a mobile phone network. It is used for second- and third-generation mobile phones for multi-media messaging, Internet access and various applications.

What is GPRS on a mobile phone?

Full Answer

GPRS is often referred to as a between-generation data service, being most commonly used between 2G and 3G mobile phones. It is used frequently in the United States, Europe and Asia. It began with 2G phones and was updated for the newer 3G advanced networks. While 4G mobile phone networks are replacing the necessity for GPRS, it is still frequently used for the transfer of essential data.



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