General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

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.

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.
TR 145 913 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Optimized transmit pulse shape for downlink Enhanced General Packet Radio Service (EGPRS2-B) (3GPP TR 45.913 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 155 216 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 1: A5/3 and GEA3 specifications (3GPP TS 55.216 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 155 217 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 2: Implementors' test data (3GPP TS 55.217 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 155 242 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GIA4 integrity algorithm for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Implementers' test data (3GPP TS 55.242 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 15.0.0 Release 15)
TS 155 251 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GEA5 and GIA5 encryption algorithms for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GEA5 and GIA5 algorithm specification (3GPP TS 55.251 version 13.0.1 Release 13)
TS 155 251 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GEA5 and GIA5 encryption algorithms for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GEA5 and GIA5 algorithm specification (3GPP TS 55.251 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 15.0.1 Release 15)
TS 155 251 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Specification of the GEA5 and GIA5 encryption algorithms for General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GEA5 and GIA5 algorithm specification (3GPP TS 55.251 version 14.0.1 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 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 14.5.0 Release 14)
TS 122 060 Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+) (GSM); Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS); General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Service description; Stage 1 (3GPP TS 22.060 version 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 13.0.1 Release 13)
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 14.0.1 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 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 15.0.0 Release 15)
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 15.0.0 Release 15)