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 129 016 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) - Visitors Location Register (VLR); Gs interface network service specification (3GPP TS 29.016 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 129 018 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); 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 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 129 119 Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); LTE; GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) specification for Gateway Location Register (GLR) (3GPP TS 29.119 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
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 14.1.0 Release 14)
TS 144 064 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Mobile Station - Serving GPRS Support Node (MS-SGSN); Logical Link Control (LLC) Layer Specification (3GPP TS 44.064 version 13.4.0 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 13.5.0 Release 13)
TS 144 064 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Mobile Station - Serving GPRS Support Node (MS-SGSN); Logical Link Control (LLC) Layer Specification (3GPP TS 44.064 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 144 160 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 Iu mode (3GPP TS 44.160 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
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 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 144 065 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Mobile Station (MS) - Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN); Subnetwork Dependent Convergence Protocol (SNDCP) (3GPP TS 44.065 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TR 149 995 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Interworking between modified Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) supporting GPRS and legacy GPRS mobiles (3GPP TR 49.995 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 155 241 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GIA4 integrity algorithm for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GIA4 specification (3GPP TS 55.241 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 155 253 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GEA5 encryption and GIA5 integrity algorithms for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Design conformance test data (3GPP TS 55.253 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 155 243 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GIA4 integrity algorithm for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Design conformance test data (3GPP TS 55.243 version 13.0.0 Release 13)
TS 155 243 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GIA4 integrity algorithm for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Design conformance test data (3GPP TS 55.243 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 155 252 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GEA5 encryption and GIA5 integrity algorithms for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Implementers' test data (3GPP TS 55.252 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 148 016 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Base Station System (BSS) - Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) interface; Network service (3GPP TS 48.016 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 148 014 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Base Station System (BSS) - Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) interface; Gb interface Layer 1 (3GPP TS 48.014 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TR 155 919 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); 3G Security; Specification of the A5/3 encryption algorithms for GSM and ECSD, and the GEA3 encryption algorithm for GPRS; Document 4: Design and evaluation report (3GPP TR 55.919 version 14.0.0 Release 14)
TS 155 218 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); 3G Security; Specification of the A5/3 encryption algorithms for GSM and ECSD, and the GEA3 encryption algorithm for GPRS; Document 3: Design conformance test data (3GPP TS 55.218 version 14.0.0 Release 14)