What is GPRS?

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is the packet and data transfer service on the 2G and 3G wireless networks used for the global communications in the mobile systems. GPS allows the continuous connections of the Internet to mobile phones and handheld devices. It is based on the GSM services which used existing services such as the SMS and circuit-switched phone networks and connections.


The features of GPRS are as follows −

  • Data rates of 56 kbps to a maximum of 114 kbps

  • SMS message services

  • Internet access with always-on features

  • MMS messaging

  • Use of instant messaging on handheld devices

  • Point to point / multipoint services

The architecture of GPRS is shown below −

GPRS Tracking location in Mobile Phones

Let us try to understand the GPRS Tracking location in mobile phones.

  • GPS tracking in mobile phones works with the help of satellites. Nowadays, GPS technology is available in any low cost mobile phones.

  • GPS or the Global positioning system as the name says it takes the latitude and longitude and height of the device above sea level.

  • GPS works purely based on satellite technology.

  • When GPS technology started in mobile phones, the device tried to locate a minimum 4 line of sights in the satellite.

  • If 4 lines of sights are obtained, the device tries to track the location.

  • Tracking mobile phones is independent of the network service providers also it doesn't affect if there is no network coverage.

  • The only need is that the device should be accessible to the satellites.

GPRS Attachment and Detachment

The GPRS attachment and Detachment process is as follows −

  • GPRS network operation takes place through two processes - attachment and detachment procedures.

  • The GPRS attachment process is done for the mobile device to make the device present in the network.

  • This is to be done by the Mobile Stations (MS) that register the device with SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node). When the device is registered to SGSN, the network checks if the MS is registered or not.

  • If authorized it copies the user details from HLR (Home Location Register) to the SGSN. Then the mobile will be assigned a temporary mobile station identity. After that the packets can be exchanged with the external network using the PDP (Packet Data Protocol) assigned to the device.

  • Disconnection of GPRS from the device is GPRS detach. Detachment process is done either by Mobile Station or by the network.


The advantages of GPRS are as follows −

  • Relatively lower connection cost when compared to other technologies.

  • High transfer rate as up to 115 Kbits/sec

  • Access time is short.

  • Packet switched operation

  • Always on connectivity.


The disadvantages of GPRS are as follows −

  • The data rates are slower when compared to the latest technologies.

  • Networks can be affected when more GPRS users are at the same location.

  • It leads to congestion which results in slower data connection.

  • If issues occur it is difficult to troubleshoot.

Updated on: 17-Mar-2022

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