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Technical differences

between GPRS and EGPRS




Regarded as a subsystem within the GSM standard, GPRS has introduced packet-switched data into GSM networks. Many new protocols and new nodes have been introduced to make this possible. EDGE is a method to increase the data rates on the radio link for GSM. Basically, EDGE only introduces a new modulation technique and new channel coding that can be used to transmit both packet-switched and circuit-switched voice and data services. EDGE is therefore an add-on to GPRS and cannot work alone. GPRS has a greater impact on the GSM system than EDGE has. By adding the new modulation and coding to GPRS and by making adjustments to the radio link protocols, EGPRS offers significantly higher throughput and capacity.


GPRS and EGPRS have different protocols and different behavior on the base station system side. However, on the core network side, GPRS and EGPRS share the same packet-handling protocols and,

therefore, behave in the same way. Reuse of the existing GPRS core infrastructure (serving GPRS support node/gateway GPRS support node) emphasizes the fact that EGPRS is only an “add-on”

to the base station system and is therefore much easier to introduce than Internet


In addition to enhancing the throughput for each data user, EDGE also increases capacity. With EDGE, the same time slot can support more users. This decreases the number of radio resources required to support the same traffic, thus freeing up capacity for more data or voice services. EDGE makes it easier for circuit-switched and packet-switched traffic to coexist while making more efficient use of the same radio resources. Thus in tightly planned networks with limited spectrum, EDGE may also be seen as a capacity booster for the data traffic.







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