GPRS Settings

General packet radio service (GPRS) is a packet oriented mobile data service available to all users of the 2G cellular communication systems global system for mobile communications (GSM), as well as in the 3G systems. In 2G systems, GPRS provides data rates of 56-114 kbit/second. [1]

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[2]. 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. It was originally standardized by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), but now by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)[3][4].

GPRS usage charging is based on volume of data, either as part of a bundle or on a pay as you use basis. An example of a bundle is up to 5Gb per month for a fixed fee. Usage above the bundle cap is either charged for per megabyte or disallowed. The pay as you use charging is typically per megabyte of traffic. This contrasts with circuit switching data, which is typically billed per minute of connection time, regardless of whether or not the user transfers data during that period.

GPRS is a best-effort packet switched service, as opposed to circuit switching, where a certain quality of service (QoS) is guaranteed during the connection. GPRS was developed as a GSM response to the earlier CDPD and i-mode packet switched cellular technologies.

Services offered

GPRS extends the GSM circuit switched data capabilities and makes the following services possible:

If SMS over GPRS is used, an SMS transmission speed of about 30 SMS messages per minute may be achieved. This is much faster than using the ordinary SMS over GSM, whose SMS transmission speed is about 6 to 10 SMS messages per minute.

The following table summarises some possible configurations of GPRS and circuit switched data services.

 Technology  Download (kbit/s)  Upload (kbit/s)  TDMA Timeslots allocated 
GPRS80.020.0 (Class 8 & 10 and CS-4)4+1
GPRS60.040.0 (Class 10 and CS-4)3+2
EGPRS (EDGE)236.859.2 (Class 8, 10 and MCS-9)4+1
EGPRS (EDGE)177.6118.4 (Class 10 and MCS-9)3+2