General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a Mobile Data Service available to users of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and IS-136 mobile phones. It provides data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps.
GPRS data transfer is typically charged per kilobyte of transferred data, while data communication via traditional circuit switching is billed per minute of connection time, independent of whether the user has actually transferred data or has been in an idle state. GPRS can be used for services such as
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access, Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and for Internet communication services such as email and World Wide Web access.
2G cellular systems combined with GPRS is often described as “2.5G”, that is, a technology between the second (2G) and third (3G) generations of mobile telephony. It provides moderate speed data transfer, by using unused Time division multiple access (TDMA) channels in, for example, the GSM system. Originally there was some thought to extend GPRS to cover other standards, but instead those networks are being converted to use the GSM standard, so that GSM is the only kind of network where GPRS is in use. GPRS is integrated into GSM Release 97 and newer releases. It was originally standardized by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), but now by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
WAP is just a gateway which is used to access Internet via mobilephone and vice-versa. Usually, GPRS data are billed per kilobyte of information transceived, while circuit-switched data connections are billed per second. The latter is inefficient because even when no data are being transferred, the bandwidth is unavailable to other potential users.
The multiple access methods used in GSM with GPRS are based on frequency division duplex (FDD) and FDMA. During a session, a user is assigned to one pair of up-link and down-link frequency channels. This is combined with time domain statistical multiplexing, i.e. packet mode communication, which makes it possible for several users to share the same frequency channel. The packets have constant length, corresponding to a GSM time slot. The down-link uses first-come first-served packet scheduling, while the up-link uses a scheme very similar to reservation ALOHA. This means that slotted Aloha (S-ALOHA) is used for reservation inquiries during a contention phase, and then the actual data is transferred using dynamic TDMA with first-come first-served scheduling.
GPRS originally supported (in theory) Internet Protocol (IP), Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) and X.25 connections. The last has been typically used for applications like wireless payment terminals, although it has been removed from the standard. X.25 can still be supported over PPP, or even over IP, but doing this requires either a router to perform encapsulation or intelligence built in to the end-device/terminal e.g. UE(User Equipment). In practice, when the mobile built-in browser is used, IPv4 is being utilized. In this mode PPP is often not supported by the mobile phone operator, while IPv6 is not yet popular. But if the mobile is used as a modem to the connected computer, PPP is used to tunnel IP to the phone. This allows DHCP to assign an IP Address and then the use of IPv4 since IP addresses used by mobile equipment tend to be dynamic.