You are on page 1of 6

Overview of GPRS GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is the world's most ubiquitous wireless data service, available

now with almost every GSM network. GSM system (2G) with GPRS capability is sometimes also known as 2.5G. GPRS is a connectivity solution based on Internet Protocols that supports a wide range of enterprise and consumer applications. Theoretical maximum speeds of up to 171.2 kilobits per second (kbps) are achievable with GPRS using all eight timeslots at the same time. This is about three times as fast as the data transmission speeds possible over today's fixed telecommunications networks and ten times as fast as current Circuit Switched Data services on GSM networks. Practically with throughput rates of up to 40 kbit/s, users have a similar access speed to a dial-up modem, but with the convenience of being able to connect from anywhere. GPRS customers enjoy advanced, feature-rich data services such as colour Internet browsing, email on the move, powerful visual communications such as video streaming, multimedia messages and location-based services. To use GPRS, users specifically need:
__ a mobile phone or terminal that supports GPRS (existing GSM phone may NOT

support GPRS); __ a subscription to a mobile telephone network that supports GPRS; __ Configuring mobile phone with the operator specific details. __ Knowledge of how to configure handset is required. Many operators provide configuration support through SMS. __ Knowledge of how to send and/or receive GPRS information using their specific model of mobile phone, including software and hardware configuration __ a destination to send or receive information through GPRS. Whereas with SMS this was often another mobile phone, in the case of GPRS, it is likely to be an Internet address, since GPRS is designed to make the Internet fully available to mobile users for the first time. From day one, GPRS users can access any web page or other Internet applicationsproviding an immediate critical mass of uses;

GPRS standardization

The ETSI (European Telecommunications Standardization Institute) does the standardisation work for GPRS.

E2E3 GPRS, Edge, 3G Rev Nil 14.02.2009 2 of 6 Key points

Edge. GPRS should be able to support one or more packet switched connections. each time a connection is required between two points. providing packet switched connections to the external networks. 3G Rev Nil 14. train. which are then sent through the network and re-assembled at the receiving end. a link between the two points is established and the needed resources are reserved for the use of that single call for the complete duration of the call. the data to be transferred is divided up into packets. • It should be able to support both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint data connections. E2E3 GPRS. especially for bursty Internet/intranet traffic. • To support the budgets of various GPRS users. it must be able to support different Quality of Service (QoS) subscriptions of the user. airline real-time information • Locating restaurants and other entertainment venues based on current Location • Lottery • E-commerce • Banking • E-mail • Web browsing The main advantages of GPRS for users: • Instant access to data as if connected to an office LAN • Charging based on amount of data transferred (not the time connected) • Higher transmission speeds The main advantages for operators: • Fast network roll-out with minimum investment • Excess voice capacity used for GPRS data • Smooth path to 3G services In circuit switching.GPRS uses a packet-based switching technique. In packet switching. . • It should provide secure access to external networks. • Since a GPRS user may be on more than one data session.02. Some application examples: • Bus.2009 3 of 6 The GPRS network acts in parallel with the GSM network. The requirements of a GPRS network are the following: • The GPRS network must use as much of the existing GSM infrastructure with the smallest number of modifications to it. which will enhance GSM data services significantly. • The GPRS network architecture has to be compatible with future 3rd and 4th generation mobile communication systems.

As the network expands and the number of subscribers increases. It also performs most of the radio resource management functions of the GPRS network. Frame Relay technology is being used at present to interconnect the PCU to the GPRS core. Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN):The SGSN is the most important element of the GPRS network. E2E3 GPRS. BSC.2009 4 of 6 Packet Control Unit (PCU): The PCU separates the circuit switched and packet switched traffic from the user and sends them to the GSM and GPRS networks respectively. Not all of the network elements are compulsory for every GPRS network. There is a coverage area associated with a SGSN. 3G Rev Nil 14. Channel Codec Unit (CCU): The CCU is realised in the BTS to perform the Channel Coding (including the coding scheme algorithms). there may be more than one SGSN in a network. Edge. The SGSN of the GPRS network is equivalent to the MSC of the GSM network. or some other point between the MS and the MSC. The SGSN has the following functions: • Protocol conversion (for example IP to FR) • Ciphering of GPRS data between the MS and SGSN • Data compression is used to minimise the size of transmitted data units • Authentication of GPRS users . These elements are: • Packet Control Unit (PCU) • Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN): the MSC of the GPRS network • Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN): gateway to external networks • Border Gateway (BG): a gateway to other PLMN • Intra-PLMN backbone: an IP based network inter-connecting all the GPRS elements • Charging Gateway (CG) • Legal Interception Gateway (LIG) • Domain Name System (DNS) Firewalls: used wherever a connection to an external network is required. The PCU can be either located in the BTS. There will be at least one PCU that serves a cell in which GPRS services will be available. The GPRS system brings some new network elements to an existing GSM network. power control and timing advance procedures.02.Figure shows the architecture of a GPRS network. There must at least one SGSN in a GPRS network.

Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN): The GGSN is the gateway to external networks. From the external network's point of view. The functions of a GGSN are given below: • Routing mobile-destined packets coming from external networks to the relevant SGSN • Routing packets originating from a mobile to the correct external network • Interfaces to external IP networks and deals with security issues • Collects charging data and traffic statistics E2E3 GPRS. When the GGSN receives data addressed to a specific user in the mobile network. the GGSN forwards the data to the SGSN serving the mobile. Edge. and possibly one SGSN to another • Routing of data to the relevant GGSN when a connection to an external network is required • Interaction with the NSS (that is. it first checks if the address is active.• Mobility management as the subscriber moves from one area to another. If it is. Every connection to a fixed external data network has to go through a GGSN. EIR) via the SS7 network in order to retrieve subscription information • Collection of charging data pertaining to the use of GPRS users • Traffic statistics collections for network management purposes. the concept of coverage area does not apply to GGSN.2009 5 of 6 • Allocates dynamic or static IP addresses to mobiles either by itself or with the help of a DHCP or a RADIUS server • Involved in the establishment of tunnels with the SGSN and with other external networks and VPN. 3G Rev Nil 14. There are usually two or more GGSNs in a network for redundancy purposes. HLR. and they back up each other up in case of failure. The GGSN also routes mobile originated packets to the correct external network. If the address is inactive. MSC/VLR. the GGSN is simply a router to an IP subnetwork.02. This is shown below. The GGSN may accept connection request from SGSN that is in another PLMN. The GGSN acts as the anchor point in a GPRS data connection even when the subscriber moves to another SGSN during roaming. GPRS MS (Mobile Station/Handset) . Hence. the data is discarded.

logic channel and 200kHz carrier bandwidth as today's GSM networks. full multimedia messaging. Although EDGE requires no hardware or software changes to be made in GSM core networks. Some people classify the GSM network with EDGE capability as 2. Using EDGE. triple their data rate per subscriber.75G. . The mobiles differ in their capabilities as detailed below: Class A Simultaneous • Attach • Activation • Monitor No simultaneous traffic Class B Simultaneous • Attach • Activation • Monitor • Invocation • Traffic Of GSM & GPRS Class C Pure GPRS or Alternate use of GSM and GPRS only What is EDGE? Further enhancements to GSM networks are provided by Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) technology. EDGE provides up to three times the data capacity of GPRS. which allows it to be overlaid directly onto an existing GSM network. EDGE allows the delivery of advanced mobile services such as the downloading of video and music clips. high-speed colour Internet access and e-mail on the move. or add extra capacity to their voice communications. operators can handle three times more subscribers than GPRS. EDGE compatible transceiver units must be installed and the base station subsystem (BSS) needs to be upgraded to support EDGE. base stations must be modified. New mobile terminal hardware and software is also required to decode/encode the new modulation and coding schemes and carry the higher user data rates to implement new services.Different GPRS MS classes were introduced to cope with the different needs of future subscribers. EDGE uses the same TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) frame structure.

• Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) From Global Service for Mobile (GSM) communication radio network. MSC and SGSN control MGW operations.and B-subscriber through the network. The nodes are renamed to MSC-server and GSN-server. the following elements cannot be reused • Base station controller (BSC) • Base transceiver station (BTS) They can remain in the network and be used in dual network operation where 2G and 3G networks co-exist while network migration and new 3G terminals become available for use in the network. SGSN handles all the packet switched operations and transfers all the data in the network. In a GSM system the MSC handles all the circuit switched operations like connecting A. In UMTS the Media gateway (MGW) take care of all data transfer in both circuit and packet switched networks. The UMTS network introduces following new network elements: • Node B (base station) • Radio Network Controller (RNC) • Media Gateway (MGW) The functionality of MSC and SGSN changes when going to UMTS. .