Difference between GPRS and DGPS

Mobile networks are used for internet connectivity, message services, finding locations, and other types of transmission. Networks that have evolved from 2G to 5G with advanced features in each generation to achieve better performance, reliability, bandwidth, etc. to attract customers by satisfying their requirements and beyond it. Using GPRS users can communicate with other users by text, multimedia messages, video conferences, and much more. DGPS is used for locating the reference based on the fixed points. Communication is made between the satellite and the base station tower to trace the relative locations.


Global Packet Radio Service allows mobile networks to transmit packets to external networks connected by the user. It is integrated with GSM global system for mobile communications and it uses packet−oriented data transmission to connect through the networks. It was invented by European Telecommunications Standards Institute and is currently maintained by a third−generation partnership project and 2G mobile phones have first deployed this approach. Since it uses a packet−switching protocol, all the packets that are received from the sender side are given the same priority during transmission.

The data is divided into packets before the transmission process and then it gets routed to the network and radio system. The packets received at the destination end are reattached to get the complete data. The capacity whichever is available is shared among multiple users which gained more popularity than GSM technology.

The data transfer for 2G systems ranges from 56 to 114 Kbits per second and 2.5G is the technology combined with GPRS that supports 3G mobile systems also. GPRS has enhanced features over GSM which also uses a packet switching method for data transmission, enhancements are made in the broadcasting of SMS and multimedia messages, providing internet applications for wireless devices using WAP, offering point−to−point and multipoint for group calls, enabling always−on in one click for internet access.

It provides better consumer billing support for the data used during the connection time and it is lesser than circuit−switched approaches. The data transfer speed of GPRS is upgraded to 85k bits/s than GSM networks.


Differential Global Positioning System is introduced to improve the functions and over the drawback of the Global Positioning System called GPS. GPS depends on satellite technology and has an accuracy of 15m, whereas DGPS brings it down to 10 cm. This system reduces the degradation of signals and provides more accuracy in positioning the data.

It uses fixed networks and ground base stations to detect the relative location of the fixed reference point. Here two receivers are used, one is rover is the user and another receiver is called a reference receiver which is fixed and the location is known. Information from the satellite is continuously transmitted to the rover and the reference receiver station. Accuracy is calculated by the base station as it knows the location. The reference receiver sends the data to the user or rover receiver to verify the calculated measurements using the relative positioning approach.

Post−processing software is used in DGPS to get the precise positions of unknown locations. The measurements from GPS are stored in the system memory of GPS servers and they are transferred to devices that use post−processing software. It rectifies the errors detected in satellite clock errors, orbital errors, and receiver clock errors to make navigation accurate.

Basis of difference




General Packet Radio Service is used for mobile communication in 2G and 3G networks.

Differential Global Positioning System is designed for positioning the location based on reference points.


It is used in 2G and 3G mobile devices.

It is used in location−based devices for positioning elements.

Data transfer/ distance

The data would be transferred up to 56 to 114 k bits per second in 2.5G

It is more accurate within 10 cm distance.


Communication happens between mobile service providers and it needs a base station to provide internet access.

Two receivers are used such as a rover and a reference receiver


Uses Internet protocol, Point−to−point and point−to−multipoint for group calls and multicast, X.25.

Cellular Digital Packet Data as wireless communication protocol

Initial version

GPRS has been developed as an advanced version of GSM.

DGPS overcomes the errors in GPS technology, providing high accuracy using fixed−based stations.


Less expensive as mobile networks integrate this technology into the devices.

Higher cost, as it provides more accuracy than GPS.


Flexible billing system, higher data transmission rate, simple upgradation, always−on connectivity.

Provides accuracy, knows the location in advance, and derives results in a short time.


With limited capacity and fewer data rates for advanced devices with a 4G network, performance is reduced when many users are in the same location, and troubleshooting is complex.

It supports only a limited coverage area and additional stations have to be added to cover a larger area.


Communication applications, E−commerce apps, location−based services, and remote applications.

It is used in construction sectors, surveying land, geological areas, and archaeological spaces.


GPRS is used in 2G, 2.5G, and 3G mobile networks for data communication, location tracking, and other communication applications. It overcomes the drawback of GSM which can be used only in 2G networks. DPRS is designed as an improvement of GSM technology to provide high accuracy using a relative positioning approach.

Updated on: 07-Jul-2023


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