What is GPRS?

Bill Day

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a 2.5G cellular technology designed to be overlayed on top of existing infrastructure in 2G GSM cellular networks. Carriers will leverage all of their pre-existing infrastructure, though end user consumers will have to purchase (or in some cases, enable) GPRS-aware devices to take advantage of GPRS features.

GPRS provides an always-on, packet based data service enabling wireless bandwidth roughly equivalent to a 28.8-56kpbs dial-up modem connection, depending upon location and network conditions.

Many GPRS enabled handsets will also include J2ME implementations. As such, they will be important targets for J2ME developers.

The GSM Association provides an overview of GPRS technology at:

For an in depth look at GSM and GPRS technology, you might also read AnywhereYouGo's excellent "Introduction to GPRS".