What is GPRS?

GPRS which is the acronym for General Packet Radio Service is defined as a packet-oriented mobile data standard that runs only on the 2G and 3G cellular network communication and Global System for Mobile communications (GSM).

GPRS is basically sold according to the entire volume of data that was transferred during the billing cycle, in opposition to circuit-switched data, which is normally billed per minute of per-connection time, or in some cases by one-third minute increments.

GPRS was established by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in immediate response to the earlier network technologies like the CDPD and i-mode packet-switched cellular network technologies. It is now managed and maintained by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

GPRS is an excellent-effort service, meaning that variable throughput and latency which both depend on the number of other users that are concurrently sharing the service, as objected to switching of the circuit, where a certain Quality of Service (QoS) is guaranteed and assured during the connection. In 2G software systems, GPRS produces data rates of 56–114 kilobits per second. 2G cellular technologies joined together with GPRS is in some cases described as 2.5G, that is, a technology within the second (2G) and third (3G) generations of mobile telephony.

GPRS provides reasonable-speed data transfer speed, by making use of unused time division multiple access (TDMA) channels in, for example, the General System for Mobile communication system. GPRS is fully integrated into the GSM Release 97 and newer releases.

Elements of GPRS: 

Two major core network elements are:

1. Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN): The SGSN monitors the state of the mobile station and tracks its movements within a given geographical area. It is also responsible for establishing and managing the data connections between the mobile user and the destination network.

2. Gateway GPRS Support node (GGSN): The GGSN provides the point of attachment between the GPRS domain and external data networks such as the internet and Corporate Intranets. Each external network is given a unique Access Point Name (APN) which is used by the mobile user to establish the connection to the required destination network.

Applications for GPRS: 

1. Location-based applications – Applications that provide navigation, update traffic conditions, airline/rail schedules, and location finder, etc.

2. Vertical applications - Delivery, fleet management and automating sales-force.

3. Advertising – Using location-based applications, advertising makes it easier for local retailers.

4. Communications – Fax, E-mail, unified messaging and intranet/internet access, etc.

5. Value-added services – Apps that provide Information services and other games, etc.

6. E-commerce – Retail applications like Flipkart, purchasing tickets using Paytm, banking apps and financial trading, etc.

Features of GPRS: 

There are many features of GPRS and some of them are: 

1. GPRS forms a direct link into the Internet: Due to the mixture of GPRS systems into GSM-Networks, we get a direct link to several packet-oriented networks like X.25 or IP. This link is a direct link and it does not take the deviation way of an intermediate system network. On the other area, GPRS joins together access to the internet with other features of a mobile communication network.

2. Harmony and co-existence with circuit-switched networks: One of the main features of all GPRS networks is their strict combination with other already existing circuit-switched network systems, there can not be a stand-alone-GPRS-network, as this will always be an extension of other GSM network systems. Due to these reasons, all the already existing features will last for the predictable futures and there will only be some new features added to it.

3. Circuit-switched data transfer: Circuit-switched data transfer in the area of GSM implies that the transfer of user data and information, e.g. voice requires the allocation of a fixed and continuous physical resource. For example the allocation of 1 Timeslot on 1 frequency channel for the whole duration of the communication.

4. Higher data rates due to channel combining: GPRS makes use of the principle of bundled timeslots to further improve the data rates. There are up to 8 Timeslots which can be combined together within 1 TDMA Frame.

5. Packet-Switched Data Transfer: GPRS technology uses packet switching in line with the Internet. This makes far more efficient use of the available capacity, and it allows greater commonality with Internet techniques.

6. Vast Applications: The packet-switched technology including the always-on connectivity combined with the higher data rates opens up many more possibilities for new applications.

How GPRS Works:

GPRS uses idle radio capacity in mobile phones to establish a data network to be used for data transmission. If a network provider’s idle radio capacity decreases, which means a lot of phone calls are being serviced, data transmission and speed decreases as well. Cell phone calls have a higher priority than Internet data transmission in mobile phone network providers.

Benefits of GPRS: 

There are many benefits of GPRS, and some of them are: 

1. GPRS systems offer a relatively low cost of connection.

2. GPRS systems offer a high transfer rate of data.

3. GPRS offers short access times to user data.

4. GPRS offers dynamic allocation of transmitting resources and information.

Why Study GPRS?

Some of the reasons to study GPRS include: 

1. Knowledge gain on how GPRS works.

2. Broad understanding of the GPRS Architecture.

3. Increase Your Earning Potential as a Professional.

4. Job Opportunities and Career Advancement.

5. Entrepreneurship Opportunity and Consultancy.

GPRS Course Outline

GPRS - Home

GPRS - Overview

GPRS - Applications

GPRS - Architecture

GPRS - Protocol Stack

GPRS - Quality of Service

GPRS - MS Classes

GPRS - PDP Context

GPRS - Data Routing

GPRS - Access Modes

GPRS - Processes

GPRS - Billing

GPRS - Mobile Phones

GPRS - Summary

GPRS - Exams And Certification


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