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General Packet Radio Service

General Packet Radio Service or GPRS is a GSM based packet switched technology. It enables connections based on Internet Protocols which support wide range of enterprise and commercial applications. The radio and network resources accessed on-demand basis, when data actually needs to be transmitted between the mobile user and the network. The data is divided into packets and is then transferred via the radio and core network.

GPRS facilitates instant connections whereby information can be sent or received immediately as the need arises, subject to radio coverage, in the way that the GPRS users are always connected (always on). GPRS enables several new applications. GPRS will enable Internet applications, from web browsing to chat, location based applications, e-commerce etc over the mobile network. Other new applications for GPRS, include file transfer and the ability to remotely access and control/monitor house appliances and machines.

The increased functionality of GPRS will decrease the incremental cost to provide data services, an occurrence that will, in turn, increase the penetration of data services among consumer and business users. In addition, GPRS will allow improved quality of data services as measured in terms of reliability, response time, and features supported.

GPRS offers up to ~171.2 Kbps, depending on the network availability, channel coding scheme and terminal capability. This increase in speed with respect to GSM is achieved by using more than one timeslot of the TDMA frame. Due to the packet switched characteristics the allocation of the available timeslots may vary from one instant to the next (e.g. it may have 8 timeslots at one time and 4 later on).

To use GPRS, users specifically need a mobile phone or terminal that supports GPRS, a subscription to a mobile telephone network that supports GPRS and the use of GPRS must be enabled for that user. GPRS is important as a migration step toward third-generation (3G) networks. GPRS will allow network operators to implement an IP-based core architecture for data applications, which will continue to be used and expanded upon for 3G services for integrated voice and data applications. In addition, GPRS will prove a testing and development area for new services and applications, which will also be used in the development of 3G services. It is possible that some mobile Network operators provide Automatic access to the GPRS, others will require a specific knowledge of how to use their specific model of mobile phone to send or receive information through GPRS.


GPRS resources:

GSM World - GPRS Platform

GPRS overview

Introduction to GPRS

GPRS tutorial

GPRS Tutorial (pdf)

GPRS White paper (pdf)

GPRS Settings for UK Mobile networks : O2, Orange, British Telecom (BT), Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin, Three, Tesco

WAP/GPRS Settings:

Nokia Support Settings(MMS/WAP/GPRS)