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You as Mero Mobile user, may have surfed the internet via your GPRS (Global Packet Radio Service) enabled mobile handsets. But have you wondered what GPRS is?

GPRS (Global Packet Radio Service) is a mobile data service available to users of GSM (Global System for Mobile) mobile phones. It 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 TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) channels in the GSM network. GPRS is a mobile data service which utilizes packet switching. It means that multiple users share the same transmission channel, only transmitting when they have data to send. This means that the total available bandwidth can be immediately dedicated to those users who are actually sending at any given moment, providing higher utilization where users only send or receive data intermittently. Web browsing, receiving e-mails as they arrive and instant messaging are examples of uses that require intermittent data transfers, which benefit from sharing the available bandwidth. Usually, GPRS data are billed per kilobytes of information transceived. Mero mobile (Spice Nepal) charges Rs 0.20 for every 10 Kb traffic or Rs 750 Per month for unlimited access.

GPRS is a connectivity solution based on Internet Protocols that supports a wide range of enterprise and consumer applications. 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. In addition to the IP (Internet Protocol), GPRS supports X.25, a packet-based protocol that is used mainly in Europe. GPRS is an evolutionary step toward EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment) and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone Service). Almost all the new cell phone models support GPRS; some models that support GPRS are Nokia 6100, Sony Eriksson 300i, Samsung D500, LG D2100.

EDGE (Enhanced Data GSM Environment), a faster version of the GSM wireless service, is designed to deliver data at rates up to 384 Kbps and enable the delivery of multimedia and other broadband applications to mobile phone. The EDGE standard is built on the existing GSM standard, using the same TDMA frame structure and existing cell arrangements. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) states that, as of April 2006, there were 139 commercial GSM/EDGE networks in 78 countries, out of a total of 192 EDGE deployments in 102 countries. The regional breakdown of commercial EDGE networks is 59 in Europe, 45 in the Americas and Caribbean, 21 in Asia, and 14 in Africa and the Middle East. GPRS is the present and EDGE may be the future, let’s hope we would also step up to EDGE some day.

By Geshan Manandhar

About 450 Words Published on “In YOur Face” Magazine July 2007 Issue, Now NTC is also launching GPRS in near Future for Pre-Paid users and its available for Post-Paid Users.