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What is GPRS technology and how is it used?

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Quick Answer

GPRS is an acronym for General Packet Radio Service and is a packet-based wireless data communication service that offers a higher data rate than GSM for mobile phone users. Consumers can more efficiently access multimedia websites, participate in video conferences, and use other services that require data transfer on mobile handheld devices and computers due to the higher data rate.

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GPRS mobile technology is less cost to the consumer than other services since shared-use channels are being used as they are needed, rather than dedicated to only one user at a time. The cost is based on the volume of data transferred, rather than the minutes data is used. The faster data rate of GPRS means that certain systems are no longer needed, as the software that adapts applications to slower speed wireless applications is not needed with GPRS.

The packet-switched data technique is efficient. The data being used is split into what are called packets, tags are inserted into the packet to provide the destination address, and then packets are transmitted over a mobile link. The efficiency is found in that GPRS distributes data from several different terminals in the system across multiple channels, thereby using the mobile network only when it is needed. GPRS technology complements circuit-switched networks. The overall data capacity is sharable between various wireless users. GPRS technology is based on a modulation technique known as Gaussian minimum-shift keying or GMSK.

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