General packet radio service (GPRS)

GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is a very widely-deployed wireless data service, available now with most GSM networks.

GPRS offers throughput rates of up to 40 kbps, enabling mobile handsets to access online services at a similar speed to a dial-up modem, but with the convenience of being able to connect from almost anywhere.

GPRS enables people to enjoy advanced, feature-rich data services, such as e-mail on the move, multimedia messages, social networking and location-based services.

General packet radio service (GPRS) is a packet oriented mobile data service on the 2G and 3G cellular communication system’s global system for mobile communications (GSM). GPRS was originally standardized by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in response to the earlier CDPD and i-mode packet-switched cellular technologies. It is now maintained by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).[1][2]

GPRS usage is typically charged based on volume of data transferred, contrasting with circuit switched data, which is usually billed per minute of connection time. 5 GB per month for a fixed fee or on a pay-as-you-use basis. Usage above the bundle cap is either charged per megabyte or disallowed.

GPRS is a best-effort service, implying variable throughput and latency that depend on the number of other users sharing the service concurrently, as opposed to circuit switching, where a certain quality of service (QoS) is guaranteed during the connection. In 2G systems, GPRS provides data rates of 56–114 kbit/second.[3] 2G cellular technology combined with GPRS is sometimes described as 2.5G, that is, a technology between the second (2G) and third (3G) generations of mobile telephony.[4] It provides moderate-speed data transfer, by using unused time division multiple access (TDMA) channels in, for example, the GSM system. GPRS is integrated into GSM Release 97 and newer releases.