General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

Overview

The General Packet Radio Service, GPRS, adds packet-switched functionality to GSM, which is essentially circuit switched. GPRS is the essential enabler for always-on data connection for applications such as web browsing and Push-to-Talk over Cellular.

GPRS was introduced into the GSM specifications in Release 97 on the 3GPP website and usability was further approved in Releases 98 and 99. It offers faster data rates than plain GSM by aggregating several GSM time slots into a single bearer, potentially up to eight, giving a theoretical data rate of 171 kbit/s. Most operators do not offer such high rates, because obviously if a slot is being used for a GPRS bearer, it is not available for other traffic. Also, not all mobiles are able to aggregate all combinations of slots.

The 'GPRS Class Number' indicates the maximum speed capability of a terminal, which might be typically 14 kbit/s in the uplink direction and 40kbit/s in the downlink, comparable with the rates offered by current wireline dial-up modems. Mobile terminals are further classified according to whether or not they can handle simultaneous GSM and GPRS connections: class A = both simultaneously, class B = GPRS connection interrupted during a GSM call, automatically resumed at end of call, class C = manual GSM / GPRS mode switching.

Further data rate increases have been achieved with the introduction of EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution). See the EDGE technology page for some comparisons between the data rate increases afforded by EDGE and GPRS over plain GSM.

Standards

The following is a list of the 20 latest published ETSI standards on GPRS.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
TS 129 128 LTE; Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); Mobility Management Entity (MME) and Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) interfaces for interworking with packet data networks and applications (3GPP TS 29.128 version 13.0.0 Release 13)
TS 129 272 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Evolved Packet System (EPS); Mobility Management Entity (MME) and Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) related interfaces based on Diameter protocol (3GPP TS 29.272 version 13.5.1 Release 13)
TS 123 401 LTE; General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enhancements for Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) access (3GPP TS 23.401 version 13.6.1 Release 13)
TS 148 018 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Base Station System (BSS) - Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN); BSS GPRS protocol (BSSGP) (3GPP TS 48.018 version 13.1.0 Release 13)
TS 143 064 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Overall description of the GPRS radio interface; Stage 2 (3GPP TS 43.064 version 13.1.0 Release 13)
TS 144 060 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Mobile Station (MS) - Base Station System (BSS) interface; Radio Link Control / Medium Access Control (RLC/MAC) protocol (3GPP TS 44.060 version 13.1.0 Release 13)
TS 129 274 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; 3GPP Evolved Packet System (EPS); Evolved General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Tunnelling Protocol for Control plane (GTPv2-C); Stage 3 (3GPP TS 29.274 version 12.12.0 Release 12)
TS 129 274 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; 3GPP Evolved Packet System (EPS); Evolved General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Tunnelling Protocol for Control plane (GTPv2-C); Stage 3 (3GPP TS 29.274 version 13.5.0 Release 13)
TS 129 281 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; General Packet Radio System (GPRS) Tunnelling Protocol User Plane (GTPv1-U) (3GPP TS 29.281 version 13.1.0 Release 13)
TS 129 060 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) across the Gn and Gp interface (3GPP TS 29.060 version 13.4.0 Release 13)
TS 123 060 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Service description; Stage 2 (3GPP TS 23.060 version 13.6.0 Release 13)
TS 123 401 LTE; General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enhancements for Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) access (3GPP TS 23.401 version 12.11.0 Release 12)
TS 129 060 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) across the Gn and Gp interface (3GPP TS 29.060 version 13.3.0 Release 13)
TS 129 272 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; Evolved Packet System (EPS); Mobility Management Entity (MME) and Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) related interfaces based on Diameter protocol (3GPP TS 29.272 version 13.4.0 Release 13)
TS 129 274 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; 3GPP Evolved Packet System (EPS); Evolved General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Tunnelling Protocol for Control plane (GTPv2-C); Stage 3 (3GPP TS 29.274 version 13.4.0 Release 13)
TS 129 281 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; General Packet Radio System (GPRS) Tunnelling Protocol User Plane (GTPv1-U) (3GPP TS 29.281 version 13.0.0 Release 13)
TS 129 018 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) - Visitors Location Register (VLR); Gs interface layer 3 specification (3GPP TS 29.018 version 13.2.0 Release 13)
TS 123 401 LTE; General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enhancements for Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) access (3GPP TS 23.401 version 13.5.0 Release 13)
TS 123 060 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Service description; Stage 2 (3GPP TS 23.060 version 13.5.0 Release 13)
TS 123 060 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Service description; Stage 2 (3GPP TS 23.060 version 12.11.0 Release 12)