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In the GPRS world, only data (including SMS/MMS) is carried over GPRS. Voice traffic is still carried over the existing GSM infrastructure - hence the term '2.5G'.
One of the disadvantages of using GSM Only is that whilst you are connected to GPRS (i.e. in a wap connection) you cannot receive a regular GSM phone call. So anyone trying to contact you will just end up at voicemail until you terminate your wap session. Thats a big drawback. At least with GPRS and GSM you can still receive a phone call whilst using WAP.
GSM is a 2G network developed for voice communication and it did ot have the packet switched data capability. To support Packet switched data on GSM , some new network elements (PCU, GGSN, SGSN) were added to GSM network. This additional elements constitute GPRS network and support Packet data.
GSM (Global Systems for Mobile) - the bearer for 2G technology; used for mobile communication.
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) - the updated/upgraded version of GSM; provide better speed for mobile communication.
EDGE, or the Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution, is the new mantra in the Global Internet Connectivity scene. EDGE is the new name for GSM 384. The technology was named GSM 384 because of the fact that it provided Data Transmission at a rate of 384 Kbps. It consists of the 8 pattern time slot, and the speed could be achieved when all the 8 time slots were used. The idea behind EDGE is to obtain even higher data rates on the current 200 KHz GSM carrier, by changing the type of the modulation used.
With EDGE, the operators and service providers can offer more wireless data application, including wireless multimedia,e-mail (Web Based), Web Infotainment, and above all, the technology of Video Conferencing. Now all these technologies that were named earlier, were the clauses of the IMT-UMTS 3G Package. But, with EDGE, we can get all these 3G services on our existing GSM phones, which might just prove to be a boon to the user.
EDGE allows its users to increase the data speed and throughput capacity, to around 3-4 times higher than GPRS.
Secondly, it allows the existing GSM or the TDMA carriers to give the sophisticated 3G services.
1. The biggest difference between EDGE and GPRS lies in the modulation scheme.
GPRS employs a Gaussian minimum shift keying (GMSK) modulation architecture while
EDGE employs an eight-level phase shift keying (8PSK) modulation scheme.
2. GPRS increased data rates to a peak rate of 144 kbit/s (in reality 4-slot GPRS will be used dropping data rates to a
peak of 85.6 kbit/s), it still falls short in providing the bandwidth requirements carriers need to deliver
high-speed data services.
EDGE technology, could boost data rate performance into the 384 kbit/s range while prepping their networks for
eventual 3G operation.
3. An EDGE-enabled wireless devices product uses GMSK modulation for the control channels, and 8PSK for the data channels.