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stands for General Packet Radio Service

is the major GSM Phase 2+

enhancement and an important step to 3G aims at providing data services to mobile users with high bandwidth efficiency and always on connectivity

The percentage of people accessing the Internet as part of their every day activities has known an explosive growth during the last decade This fact combined with the impressive penetration of mobile telephony in the last few years, has triggered a global interest towards mobile access to IP-based applications (e.g. e-commerce) and services GSM could not support data services with traffic patterns similar to those that exhibit Internet applications (bursty characteristics)

Users point of view

Data rates are too slow;

up to 9.6 kbps Connection setup takes too long

Technical point of view

GSM deploys circuit-switched mechanisms,

which: are inappropriate for the characteristics of Internet traffic impose a time-oriented charging scheme

supports high data rates;

up to 172 kbps offers fast call setup times provides always on connectivity supports QoS aware mechanisms integrates IP infrastructure into the GSM network deploys packet-switched mechanisms, which: allow for a volume-based charging discipline result in more efficient resource utilization when bursty traffic is concerned

Channel coding is used in every digital communication system to GPRS makes use of 4 different coding schemes, depending on channel conditions When 8 slots are used, the maximum data rate of 171.2 kbit/s is achieved
Data Rate kbit/s 9.05 13.4 15.6 21.4 Channel Conditions Tough Tough to Moderate Moderate Good
increase channel capacity protect against errors

Coding Scheme CS-1 CS-2 CS-3 CS-4

Fast Data Transfer Rates Always-On Connection Robust Connectivity Broad Application Support Security Support

Speed Reliability

Distance Factor

GPRS builds upon the existing GSM infrastructure to provide a packet data service
The Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) is responsible for:
Admission control Routing, mobility management, location

management, authentication, charging Receiving and delivering data packets Address translation and mapping Encapsulation

The Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN)

acts as interface between GPRS backbone and

external Packet Data Networks (PDN) or other Public Mobile Land Networks converts GPRS packets coming from SGSN into the appropriate packet data protocol (PDP) format (e.g. IP or X.25) converts the PDP addresses of incoming data packets to the GSM address of the destination user, and sends the readdressed packet sto the responsible SGSN

station located in PLMN 1 sends packets to a host connected to the IP network


Intra PLMN GPRS backbone


Intra PLMN GPRS backbone

SGSN Border gateway Border gateway


Intra PLMN GPRS backbone


Packet Data Network (PDN) (e.g. Internet)


Class A
Simultaneous operation of GPRS and

conventional GSM services are possible

Class B
A mobile station can register for both GPRS and

conventional GSM services, but can only use one of the 2 services at a given time

Class C
A mobile station can attach for either GPRS or

GSM services (exception: SMS)

GPRS provides two types of services:

PTP (Point-to-Point) service PTP-CLNS (connectionless mode, e.g. IP) PTP-CONS (connection-oriented mode, e.g. X.25) PTM (Point-to-Multipoint) service PTM-M (multicast service) PTM-G (group call service)

Information services as text or graphics m-commerce - not all content is delivered via the mobile network:

web shopping tickets for transport (eg trains) gaming banking

Location Based Services Corporate email, Internet email LAN applications Mobile Office Web browsing File transfer

GPRS provides efficient access to Packet Data Networks. GPRS is more effective for long data packet transmission than short ones.