What Is GPRS?

Let’s define GPRS as the following. GPRS, or General Packet Radio Service, is a cellular network technology, which is also called 2.5G. It implies packet-switching, data transfer in smaller packets in comparison with dedicated circuits of older generations. This creates "always-on" connectivity for devices and enables sending or acquiring valuable data. 

What Are the Major Constituents of GPRS 

There are two key components of GPRS: 
  • Mobile Network Operator or MNO Infrastructure, which includes cellular towers and service providers’ network equipment. They provide seamless communication between GPRS devices and the internet. 

  • GPRS module which is a compact hardware item within an IoT device. It enables connection with the cellular network, translating data into packets and vice versa. 

What Are the GPRS Standards? 

GPRS implies technical specifications which are set by global organizations: 
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU) provides the general framework for GPRS within the IMT-2000 standard. 

  • 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) provides the technical details of GPRS air interface protocols and network operation. 

How GPRS Works 

So, what’s GPRS workflow: 
  • Stage 1. Data Transfer. Equipped with GPRS module, an IoT device collects data for sending. The GPRS module relies on a GPRS SIM card inserted into the devices. 

  • Stage 2. Packet Creation. The GPRS module breaks down the data into smaller packets, each containing addressing information and the actual data payload. 

  • Stage 3. Network Access. The connection with the cellular network and the module is set and operated by the MNO. 

  • Stage 4. Packet Delivery. It transmits the packets over the cellular network via radio frequencies. 

  • Stage 5. Network Routing. The MNO infrastructure routes the data packets via the network based on their destination addresses. 

  • Stage 6. Data Reception. The recipient device receives the packets and reassembles them into the original data. 

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