General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
GPRS is a standard developed under the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and adopted globally for GSM digital cellular networks. GPRS utilizes a packet radio principle and can be used for carrying end user’s packet data protocol (such as IP and X.25) information between GPRS terminals and/or external packet data networks.
GPRS is a 2.5G technology that extends GSM by introducing moderate-speed data packet switching to the GSM service. Packet switching is more efficient than circuit switching and permits more subscribers within a cell. It also supports the use of the Internet Protocol (IP) and thus allows Internet connectivity from the mobile station. The network operator can provide Internet connectivity directly, without the subscriber having to dial in to an Internet Service Provider.
GPRS is only for data transmission. Voice traffic in a GPRS network is still carried using circuit-switched GSM protocols. A GPRS mobile station can achieve a theoretical data speed of 115 kbps, but in practice, speeds are in the range of 36 to 60 kbps.