by Dinesh Thakur Category: Network Technologies

Definition:  General Packet Radio Service is a packet-based wireless communication service. It promises data rate up to 114 kbps. It is a standard technology which extends the Global system. It abbreviated as GPRS. It is designed to replace the current circuit-switched services.

General Packet Radio Service is a non-voice and high-speed technology which is useful for the GSM networks. We make use of GPRS so that we can enable connections which depend on the internet protocol. As we know, IP supports a wide variety of applications. We can send and receive the compressed data and large volume data over the mobile network by using GPRS as the packet switching system used. So, before sending the data, it breaks the whole data into packets and then shifts them through the network. Now the data again assembled at the recipient side.

GPRS supports X.25 protocol which is a packet-based protocol. It mainly used in Europe. GPRS also complements the Bluetooth technology. In Bluetooth, we replace the wired connection between the two devices into a wireless connection which is possible up to a certain range, and after that range, we can establish a connection between those two devices.

History of GPRS

GPRS is from those technologies which enable the cell network to connect with the Internet Protocol (IP) networks in the 2000s. According to a study, Bernhard Walke and his student Peter Decker invented the GPRS system. It is the first system which provides the worldwide mobile internet access.

GPRS is the technology which is standardized by the European Telecommunication Standard Institute.

Features of GPRS

GPRS operates at an extremely slow speed. It downloads the data at the deficient range and even uploads the data at the range lower than the download range. Its features are as follows:

Short messaging service: it is the communication protocol which specially designed for text messaging. So, it is a special-purpose communication protocol.

•  Multimedia messaging service: It has done an extension to SMS, i.e., now we can transmit videos along with the text also.

•  Wireless application protocol: it is a special-purpose communication protocol which used for mobile browsers.

Characteristics of GPRS

•   GPRS makes use of packet-switched resource allocation. In this, the resources allocated when there is a need for data transferring, i.e., either the data can be sent, or data can be received.

•   There is the frequent transmission of small volumes and infrequent transmission of the large volume of the data.

•   In this, the channel allocation is flexible, i.e., the available resources can be shared by the active users.

•   Also, we can reserve the up and downlink channels separately.

•   GPRS and circuit switched GSM services can make use of the same time slot alternatively.

Difference between GSM and GPRS

Its full form is Global System for Mobile Communications. Its full form is General Packet Radio Service.
In this, one-time slot allocated to one UE. In this, multiple timeslots allocated to one UE.
The user charged by the duration of a connection The user charged by the amount of data transferred.
It is a circuit-switched technology. It is a packet-switched technology.
It cannot retransmit the error frames. It can retransmit the error frames.
In this, the maximum transmission rate is 9.6 kbps. In this, the maximum transmission rate is 172.4 kbps.
Its access time is long. Its access time is short.
Here, the location area concept used. Here, the routing area concept used.
In this, the user in two states- IDLE or READY. In this, the user in 3 states- IDLE, STANDBY and READY.
Here, the time slot can be allocated in both uplink and downlink. Here, the time slot can be allocated only in downlink and not in the uplink.
Also, the resource allocation is called symmetric allocation in GSM services. Here, the resource allocation is called asymmetric allocation.


IP based applications

   www, FTP(File Transfer Protocol), Telnet, etc.,

   Any conventional TCP/IP based applications

X.25 based applications

   Packet assembly/disassembly (PAD) type approach

• Point-to-point applications

   Toll road system

   UIC train control system

• Point-to-multipoint applications

    Weather information

     Road traffic information

     News, fleet management

•   SMS delivery

•   Other internet applications

Advantages of GPRS

Advantages of GPRS are as follows:

• High-speed: GPRS offers us the speed which is 3 times quicker than the data transfer speed of fixed telecommunication networks. Also, the speed of GPRS is 10 times faster than the GSM services. GPRS gives the speed of 171.2 kbps.

• Instant connection and immediate data transfer: GPRS provide us the instant connections. It can send data wherever and whenever the data is required.

• Cost-effective solution: The cost of using GPRS is less. That’s why there is an increase in the penetration of data services.

• Innovative and superior applications: GPRS facilitates us the usage of internet applications. GPRS also allows for the transfer of the file. GPRS can remotely gain access for monitoring and controlling machines.

• It enables new service opportunities.

• In this, resources reserved only when they are needed. So these resources are charged accordingly.

• In this, the users are charged by the amount of the data being transferred, unlike other non-GPRS users.

• GPRS provides wireless internet access as it is available in all mobile devices.

• We can make use of both voice and data services on GPRS network.

• There is no need for broadband internet connectivity in this as the GPRS based data services can be accessed on the mobile network.

• The deployment of GPRS is more comfortable as it makes use of GSM infrastructure.

Disadvantages of GPRS

The disadvantages of GPRS are as follows:

• The data rate supported by GPRS is slower than the data rate of the latest wireless standards like LTE, LTE-advanced, etc.,

• We cannot troubleshoot the error in case any issue appears in front of us.

• The problem of congestion also occurs in GPRS which means that if multiple users of GPRS are utilizing the services of GPRS in the same area at the same time, then slower data connection there.

About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.C.A, MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.

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