What is GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), and How Does it Work?

What is GPRS and GSM

GPRS is an extension of the global system for mobile communication. It is a packet-oriented mobile data standard for mobile communication in the international system of 2G and 3G cellular communication networks. GPRS to European Made by the Telecommunications Standards Institute ( ETSI ).

GPRS override wired associations, as it is streamlined in the framework access happens packet information’s network like web. GPRS utilises the Packet radio standard to transport client information packets in a structured route between GSM versatile stations and external packet information networks. These packets are straightforwardly directed to the packet changed systems from GPRS portable stations.

Definition of GPRS

General Packet Radio Service is a type of packet-switching technology that enables Data transfers and provides end-to-end, wide-area wireless IP connectivity for mobile communications (GSM) through the cellular network’s global system.

GPRS transmission rate can be improved from 56Kbps to 114Kbps too. At the same time, there is no need for existing wireless applications because of an intermediary converter; due to this, connection and transmission become more convenient and more accessible. In this way, users can easily log on to the Internet. They can also participate in interactive communication such as video conferences, and users can connect in the same video network (VRN) with the network without dial-up.

GPRS Full Form

The complete form of GPRS is the ” General Packet Radio Service “, which means that it is a service that works to transmit data through radio waves.
It is called “Common Packet Radio Sawan”.

Who owns GPRS?

The GPRS specifications have been written by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI), a European counterpart of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Therefore, we can consider it the owner of GPRS.

GPRS Criteria

GPRS was actually under a standard ETSI, but later it was transferred to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and it was published in 1998. On an everyday basis, it is compatible with 2G, With 3G and WCDMA networks, also via GPRS Core Network.

GPRS is a packet-switching communications protocol, whereas earlier other circuit-based switching protocols were used on 2G networks. This also means that data delivery is best-effort; latency and deliverability may vary slightly from time to time. Quality of Service (QoS) is not easily manageable in GPRS because it depends on how many other users are sharing that service.

Key features of GPRS

Let us now know which of the three key features are GPRS which describes wireless packet data:

1. Always online feature – it erases the dial-up process, making applications only one click away.

2. This is an upgrade with available systems – in this, the operators do not have to replace their equipment; Rather, GPRS has an added features over their existing infrastructure.

3. An integral part of future 3G systems – GPRS is a packet data core network for 3G systems EDGE and WCDMA.

Target of GPRS

GPRS is the first step towards end-to-end wireless infrastructure, and it also has some goals about which we know:

  • Open Architecture
  • Providing Consistent IP services
  • Same infrastructure for different air interfaces.
  • Integrated telephony and Internet infrastructure
  • Leverage industry investment in IP
  • Its service innovation is entirely independent of the infrastructure

What services are offered in GPRS?

Now let us know about the services provided by GPRS.

1. SMS messaging and broadcasting

2. Push-to-talk over cellular

3. Instant messaging and presence

4. Multimedia messaging service

5. Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint services

What are Protocols supported by GPRS?

Now let us know which are the protocols that GPRS supports.

1. Internet Protocol (IP)

2. Point-To-Point Protocol (PPP)

What are the advantages of GPRS?

GPRS technology offers many benefits and advantages to users and network operators compared to the basic GSM system. It was widely deployed via cellular telecommunications technology to provide a realistic data capability. Now let us know what are the advantages of GPRS: –

Higher Data Rate
GPRS provides higher data rates in shorter access times. GPRS provides transfer rate up to 115kbit / s (maximum is 171.2kbit / s, excluding FEC). This means that GPRS and ISDN users can easily surf the Internet through portable computers.

In a low connection cost GSM network, high resource utilisation occurs. While GPRS introduced packet-switching transmission mode, due to which circuit-switching GSM data transmission mode started to be used correctly, it was more important for wireless resource scarcity.

Now for the billing of GPRS users, the data volume of the communication is made on the primary basis so that it is easily known how much the user has to pay to use the service. Now even though the connection time of GPRS users is not a few hours, but they only have to pay a relatively low connection cost.

Short Access Times
GPRS mainly offers connection to mobile users and remote data networks (e.g.. Support TCP / IP, X.25 and other networks) to provide mobile users with high-speed wireless IP and wireless X.25 services.

Easy Billing
GPRS packet transmission offers a more user-friendly billing as compared to the billing of circuit-switched services. Talking about circuit-switched services, then billing is based on the duration of the connection. This is not suitable for applications that have burst traffic. In this, the user has to pay the entire airtime, even in idle periods when no packets are sent (e.g., when a user reads a web page).

In contrast, in packet-switched services, billing is based on the result of the transmitted data. The advantage of the user is that even if they are “online ”for a long time, they are billed based on the transmitted data volume.

Speed: There is
A considerable benefit of GPRS technology that they offer a higher data rate compared to GSM. Speeds up to 172kbps are possible, while maximum data rates can be achieved realistically under most conditions in which the range is in the range of 15 – 40 kbps.

Packet-switched operation:
Where GSM used circuit-switched techniques, GPRS technology uses packet switching in line with the Internet. It is a more efficient use of available capacity, and while it allows more significant commonality than too Internet techniques.

Always on connectivity:
Another advantage of GPRS is that it offers “Always On” capability. When circuit-switched techniques are used, charges are based on how long a circuit is used over time, i.e. how long the call has been running. In the packet-switched technology, the costs are calculated above the amount of data carried, which is used by the services provider’s capacity. At the same time, always-on connectivity is possible.

More applications: With
Packet-switched technology always-on connectivity, when combined with higher data rates, creates more possibilities for new applications. With the advent of GPRS, the growth of mobile or PDA like Blackberry started increasing.

To further develop pre capacitieS, further advances were made in it, and another system was developed, EDGE or Enhanced GPRS, EGPRS.

Which Switching is used in GPRS?

In GPRS technology, Packet Switched Data is used, not circuit-switched data. This technique uses more efficient available capacity. This is because most of the data transfer takes place in a “bursty” fashion. There is transfer in short peaks, followed by breaks when it is very little or no activity.

According to a traditional approach, a circuit was permanently switched on for a particular user. These are called a circuit-switched mode. According to the “bursty” nature of data transfer, some periods do not carry any data. To improve this situation, the overall capacity is shared among several users.

To achieve this, data is split into packets and tags inserted into the packet so that it can be provided with the destination address. Packets are also transmitted to them from different sources through the link. It is not possible that the data burst may also occur for other users simultaneously. Still, in such a fashion, channels or combined channels can be better used by sharing the overall resource. This approach is called packet switching, and it used to be at the core of many cellular data systems, and in this case, GPRS.


Now let us know what the differences between packet switching and circuit switching are.

IMSI attach GPRS attach
Call setup TBF establishment
PDP context activation
Call state (bi-directional) Block transfer (uni-directional)
It uses Channel Exclusive In this, the channel is shared between users.
Calls clear after completion It’s always on


Now let us know what the differences between GSM and GPRS are.

GSM is a standard-bearer of 2G technologies. GPRS is an upgrade version of basic GSM features. It allows the mobile handset to get a much higher data speed than even standard GSM can offer.
GSM traffic and signalling follow different multi-frame structure.
51 frame MF is used for signalling, and 26 frame MF is used for traffic.
At the same time, both the traffic and signalling in GPRS follow the common multi-frame structure. That is, 52 frame MF is used in both signalling and traffic.
GSM uses circuit switching traffic GPRS uses packet switching traffic.
GSM UE Available is in two states, ie
There are three states in GPRS UE,
The GSM time slot is allocated in both uplink and downlink. This is the reason that this radio resource allocation is called Symmetric in GSM. Whereas GPRS radio resource allocation is asymmetric, allocating the time slot only in the downlink, not in the uplink when a user only is downloading the file.
The location area concept is used in GSM. The routing area concept is used in GPRS.

Future of GPRS?

By now, you must have known that GPRS is a crucial step in mobile evolution, and while it opens up endless possibilities for application developers and users. Technology after GPRS will be either EDGE or UMTS (or both).

1. Enhanced Data Rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE): It uses a new modulation scheme that provides up to three times higher throughput (also for HSCSD and GPRS)

2. Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS): A new wireless technology that uses new infrastructure deployment.

What did you learn today?

I hope you have liked this article about what GPRS is. It has always been my endeavour to provide complete information about GPRS to the readers so that they do not have to search on other sites or the internet in the context of that article.

This will also save their time, and they will also get all the information in one place. If you have any doubts about this article or want that there should be some improvement in it, you can write low comments.

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