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Old 04-26-2005, 05:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question GPRS and GSM

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While I know what the letters stand for, what does my display indicate when it shows either GPRS or GSM?

Old 04-26-2005, 05:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default GSM, gprs, GPRS

GSM basically means you just have voice service. gprs and GPRS indicate data services are available. Most of the time you should see GPRS. If you don't see GPRS, then most if not all data services (internet browsing, email, etc.) will not be available.

Anytime you reboot your phone or cut radio coverage and turn it back on, you will notice the phone acquiring these three levels of service 1) GSM --> 2) gprs --> 3) GPRS

From the BlackBerryForums FAQ:

GSM is the most popular mobile phone standard in the world. It is used by almost every country in the world that has a mobile phone network. GSM stands for "Global System for Mobile communication". This is a second-generation digital mobile phone standard that transmits voice digitally between the phone and the cell antenna towers. Large North American mobile phone networks that uses GSM include Cingular and AT&T, Rogers and Fido, as well as T-Mobile. Standardization has permitted the ability to interchange phones between many different providers, provided that the phone is not "locked" to function only on one carrier. For technical information, see Wikipedia GSM.

This is a data extension to GSM and stands for "General Packet Radio Service". This enables devices such as BlackBerry to have always-on access without using up airtime. GPRS simply transmits data over unused airwaves that are not being used for active phone calls. GPRS gives priority to phone calls, so GPRS automatically slows down in busy airwaves to prevent busy signals on other mobile phones. This is why GPRS can give you unlimited 24/7 always-on Internet access, without the need to dial the Internet. It is the most widespread always-on Internet method. BlackBerry uses GPRS for all emails. Speeds are typically between 30 and 70 kilobits per second, depending on conditions and the network. Not all GSM networks have GPRS. All North American GSM networks have GPRS available. GPRS is partway between second generation and third generation, so it is often called a "2.5G" network. GPRS can have fairly high latency, of about 500 milliseconds. For technical information, see Wikipedia GPRS.

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Old 04-26-2005, 06:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here is the entire Glossary FAQ, as written by Mark Rejhon:
Old 04-26-2005, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The only two countries in Asia I have visited that are not GSM are Japan and Korea. Your quad-band phone will not work there. Rumour has it that Japan will be rolling out a new standard sometime this year or next that will include some level of GSM support...but it's just something I heard from a friend.
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