General Packet Radio Service

What Does General Packet Radio Service Mean?

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a packet-based mobile data service on the global system for mobile communications (GSM) of 3G and 2G cellular communication systems. It is a non-voice, high-speed and useful packet-switching technology intended for GSM networks.


GPRS can be used to enable connections depending on Internet protocols that support a wide variety of enterprises, as well as commercial applications. It enables the sending and receiving of compact data bursts and large data volumes across mobile phone networks. Prior to sending the data, it is broken into individual packets and shifted through the core network and radio. The data is then reassembled at the recipient’s end.

Techopedia Explains General Packet Radio Service

GPRS provides computer and mobile users with a steady Internet connection. The packet-oriented characteristic enhances the data transfer speed. In order to make use of GPRS, users should possess a terminal or mobile phone that has GPRS support, and a GPRS-compatible mobile network subscription.

Advantages of GPRS include:

  • High-speed: GPRS offers an optimum speed of 171.2 kbps, which is almost three times quicker than the data transfer speed of fixed telecommunications networks. Also, it is ten times faster than the existing GSM network services

  • Instant connection and immediate data transfer: GPRS provides instantaneous and steady connections, which permit data to be sent wherever and whenever required

  • Cost-effective solution: Minimizes the incremental expenditure required for providing data services. This in turn enables increase in the penetration of data services amongst business and consumer users

  • Innovative and superior applications: GPRS facilitates usage of Internet applications over mobile networks. This includes Web browsing, IM messages, e-commerce and location oriented applications. In addition, it allows for file transfer and the ability to remotely gain access for monitoring or controlling machines and house appliances


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…