General Packet Radio Service is a packet-switching technology that enables data transfers through cellular networks. It is used for mobile internet, MMS and other data communications. In theory the speed limit of GPRS is 115 kbps, but in most networks it is around 35 kbps.
GPRS was established by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in response to the earlier CDPD and i-mode packet-switched cellular technologies. It is now maintained by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
GPRS is typically sold according to the total volume of data transferred during the billing cycle, in contrast with circuit switched data, which is usually billed per minute of connection time, or sometimes by one-third minute increments. Usage above the GPRS bundled data cap may be charged per MB of data, speed limited, or disallowed.
GPRS is a best-effort service, implying variable throughput and latency that depend on the number of other users sharing the service concurrently, as opposed to circuit switching, where a certain quality of service (QoS) is guaranteed during the connection. In 2G systems, GPRS provides data rates of 56–114 kbit/sec. 2G cellular technology combined with GPRS is sometimes 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 time division multiple access (TDMA) channels in, for example, the GSM system. GPRS is integrated into GSM Release 97 and newer releases.