The General Packet Radio
Service (GPRS) is a new non-voice value added service that allows
information to be sent and received across a mobile telephone network. It
supplements today's Circuit Switched Data and Short Message Service. It is
a step ahead to provide a massive boost to mobile data usage and
usefulness. Payments are made as per data volume, instead of per minute
pulse rate. You need to pay a fixed rent around Rs. 750 per month, after
which you can surf for unlimited hours. Except for one thing, as a
developing technology, the net connection is a slow process.
- Surfing the net; emailing; all through
Fast transmission of
text documents, spreadsheets, photographs and illustrations; mobile
chatting and on-line games.
- A round the clock net connection, even
when you are on the move.
A GPRS can achieve speeds up to 171.2 kilobits per second (kbps) using all
eight timeslots at the same time. This is thrice as fast as current data
GPRS facilitates instant connections whereby information can be sent or
received immediately as the need arises, subject to radio coverage. No
dial-up modem connection is necessary.
NEW APPLICATIONS, BETTER APPLICATIONS
GPRS facilitates several new applications that have not previously been
available over GSM networks due to the limitations in speed of Circuit
Switched Data (9.6 kbps) and message length of the Short Message Service
(160 characters). GPRS will fully enable the Internet applications you are
used to on your desktop from web browsing to chat over the mobile network.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR A
- To begin with, a mobile phone or
terminal that supports GPRS.
A subscription to a
mobile telephone network that supports GPRS. § Knowledge of how to
send and/ or receive GPRS information using their specific model of
mobile phone, including software and hardware configuration.
A destination to send
or receive information through GPRS. Whereas with SMS this was often
another mobile phone, in the case of GPRS, it is likely to be an
Internet address, since GPRS is designed to make the Internet fully
available to mobile users for the first time.
KEY NETWORK FEATURES
PACKET SWITCHING GPRS
involves overlaying a packet based air interface on the existing circuit
switched GSM network. This gives the user an option to use a packet-based
data service. With GPRS, the information is split into separate but
related "packets" before being transmitted and reassembled at the
Efficient use of scarce radio resources means that large numbers of GPRS
users can potentially share the same bandwidth and be served from a single
cell. The actual number of users supported depends on the application
being used and how much data is being transferred. Because of the spectrum
efficiency of GPRS, there is less need to build in idle capacity that is
only used in peak hours. GPRS therefore lets network operators maximise
the use of their network resources in a dynamic and flexible way, along
with user access to resources and revenues.
GPRS fully enables Mobile Internet functionality by allowing inter-working
between the existing Internet and the new GPRS network.
LIMITATIONS OF GPRS
LIMITED CELL CAPACITY FOR ALL USERS
There are only limited radio resources that can be deployed for different
uses- use for one purpose precludes simultaneous use for another. For
example, voice and GPRS calls both use the same network resources. The
extent of the impact depends upon the number of timeslots, if any, that
are reserved for exclusive use of GPRS.
SPEEDS MUCH LOWER IN REALITY
Achieving the theoretical maximum GPRS data transmission speed of 171.2
kbps would require a single user taking over all eight timeslots without
any error protection. Additionally, the initial GPRS terminals are
expected to be severely limited- supporting only one, two or three
timeslots. The bandwidth available to a GPRS user will therefore be
APPLICATIONS OF GPRS
A wide range of corporate
and consumer applications are enabled by nonvoice mobile services such as
SMS and GPRS.
Because of its synergy with the Internet, GPRS would allow mobile users to
participate fully in existing Internet chat groups rather than needing to
set up their own groups that are dedicated to mobile users. Since the
number of participants is an important factor determining the value of
participation in the newsgroup, the use of GPRS here would be
TEXTUAL AND VISUAL INFORMATION
You can receive information, which is in the form of not only text, but
maps, graphs or other visuals.
Still images such as photographs, pictures, postcards, greeting cards and
presentations, static web pages can be sent and received over the mobile
network as they are across fixed telephone networks. It will be possible
with GPRS to post images from a digital camera connected to a GPRS radio
device directly to an Internet site, allowing near real-time desktop
You will also be able to receive moving images and receive transmission
You will also be able to use the GPRS for browsing the net. DOCUMENT
SHARING/ COLLABORATIVE WORKING Mobile data facilitates document sharing
and remote collaborative working. This lets different people in different
places work on the same document at the same time.
Dictating to a mobile phone, would simply not give sufficient voice
quality to allow transmission to be broadcast or analyzed for the purposes
of background noise analysis or voice printing. Since even short voice
clips occupy large file sizes, GPRS or other high speed mobile data
services are needed.
Non-voice mobile services can be used to assign and communicate new jobs
from office-based staff to mobile field staff. Customers typically
telephone a call center whose staff take the call and categorize it. Those
calls requiring a visit by field sales or service representative can then
be escalated to those mobile workers.
With up to half of employees typically away from their desks at any one
time, it is important for them to keep in touch with the office by
extending the use of corporate email systems beyond an employee's office
PC. Since GPRS capable devices will be more widespread in corporations
than amongst the general mobile phone user community, there are likely to
be more corporate email applications using GPRS than Internet email ones
whose target market is more general.
Internet email services come in the form of a gateway service where the
messages are not stored, or mailbox services in which messages are stored.
In the case of gateway services, the wireless email platform simply
translates the message from SMTP, the Internet email protocol, into SMS
and sends to the SMS Center. In the case of mailbox email services, the
emails are actually stored and the user gets a notification on their
mobile phone and can then retrieve the full email by dialing in to collect
it, forward it and so on.
By linking Internet email with an alert mechanism such as SMS or GPRS,
users can be notified when a new email is received.
REMOTE LAN ACCESS
Remote LAN applications encompasses access to any applications that an
employee would use when sitting at their desk, such as access to the
intranet, their corporate email services such as Microsoft Exchange or
Lotus Notes and to database applications running on Oracle or Sybase or
whatever. The mobile terminal such as handheld or laptop computer has the
same software programs as the desktop on it, or cut down client versions
of the applications accessible through the corporate LAN. This application
area is therefore likely to be a conglomeration of remote access to
several different information types- email, intranet, databases. This
information may all be accessible through web browsing tools, or require
proprietary software applications on the mobile device. The ideal bearer
for Remote LAN Access depends on the amount of data being transmitted, but
the speed and latency of GPRS make it ideal.
You may download sizeable data across the mobile network. This data could
be a presentation document for a traveling salesperson, an appliance
manual for a service engineer or a software application such as Adobe
Acrobat Reader to read documents. The source of this information could be
one of the Internet communication methods such as FTP (File Transfer
Protocol), telnet, http or Java- or from a proprietary database or legacy
platform. Irrespective of source and type of file being transferred, this
kind of application tends to be bandwidth intensive. It therefore requires
a high-speed mobile data service such as GPRS, EDGE or 3GSM to run
satisfactorily across a mobile network.
Home automation applications combine remote security with remote control.
Basically, you can monitor your home from wherever you are- on the road,
on holiday, or at the office. If your burglar alarm goes off, not only do
you get alerted, but you get to go live and see who are perpetrators are
and perhaps even lock them in. You can program your video, switch your
oven on so that the preheating is complete by the time you arrive home and
so on. Your GPRS capable mobile phone really does become like the remote
control devices we use today for our television, video, hi-fi and so on.
As the Internet Protocol (IP) will soon be everywhere- not just in mobile
phones because of GPRS but all manner of household appliances and in every
machine- these devices can be addressed and instructed. A key enabler for
home automation applications will be Bluetooth, which allows disparate
devices to inter work.
WHAT IS BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY ?
Bluetooth, named after the
renowned Danish King, Harold Bluetooth, is a short-range wireless
Bluetooth is capturing the minds of the present day technologists, as a
technology enabler for the wireless unification of a wide variety of
portable devices like mobile PCs, mobile phones and the like. It does away
with the cables and enables voice and data transfer between the devices
through wireless networks called piconets.
The primary segments identified for Bluetooth application are: Cellular &
PCS Mobile Phones, Digital Cordless Phones, Data Access Points, PC Cards
and Adapters , Notebook & Desktop PCs, Handheld PCs & Palm Companions /
PDA s, Digital Still Cameras, Output Equipment, Automotive and Industrial
& Medical applications.
The technology behind it:
Bluetooth is a Radio Frequency (RF) specification for short-range,
point-to-multi-point voice and data transfer. An advantage of Bluetooth is
it's similarity to many other specifications already deployed and it's
borrowing of many a feature from these specifications. The 2.4GHz band is
used by IEEE 802.11 to enable wireless LAN connectivity. Bluetooth borrows
specifications to enable file sharing and data transfers between devices
from IrDA (a wireless specification that uses InfraRed light to connect
devices). HomeRF SWAP, a specification aimed at small network of devices
for the home environment, is another source for Bluetooth.
It is omni-directional and has a present nominal link range of 10cm to
10m, which can be extended to 100m, with increased transmitting power.
Bluetooth operates in the 2.4GHz Industrial-Scientific-Medical (ISM) Band
and uses a Frequency Hop (FH) spread spectrum technology in which packets
are transmitted in defined time slots on defined frequencies. A full
duplex information interchange rate of upto 1Mbps may be achieved in which
a Time-Division Duplex (TDD) scheme is used.
A Bluetooth System:
- A Radio Unit - consisting of a radio
transceiver, which provides the radio, link between the Bluetooth
- A Baseband Unit - a hardware
consisting of flash memory and a CPU. This interfaces with the radio
unit and the host device electronics.
- Link Management Software - a driver
software or firmware which enables the application software to
interface with the baseband unit.
- An Application Software - this
implements the user interface and is the application that can run on
The usage model being
presented below are those which have been identified by the Bluetooth
SIG's marketing group and helps us to get a peep into the vast areas of
application of this wonderful standard.
The three-in-one phone: It can work as cordless phones
connecting to the public switched telephone network at home and office
and thus incurring the fixed line charge. It could function as a
walkie-talkie with other telephones in the same office or building,
without incurring any charge. This telephone can also connect to the
cellular infrastructure and function as a cellular phone, incurring
cellular charges. At home, your phone functions as a portable phone
(fixed line charge). When you're on the move, it functions as a mobile
phone (cellular charge). And when your phone comes within range of
another mobile phone with built-in Bluetooth wireless technology, it
functions as a walkie-talkie (no telephony charge).
The Internet Bridge: In this usage
model, mobile phone or cordless modem functions as a modem to the PC,
providing dial-up networking and fax capabilities without a need for
physical connection to the PC. Use your mobile computer to surf the
Internet wherever you are, and regardless of whether you're cordlessly
connected through a mobile phone (cellular) or through a wire-bound
connection (e.g. PSTN, ISDN, LAN, xDSL).
The Interactive Conference: Here,
multiple data terminals, use a Local Access Network (LAN) access point
as a wireless connection to a LAN. Once connected, the data terminals
operate as if they were connected to the LAN via dialup networking.
The terminals can access all of the services provided by the LAN. In
meetings and conferences you can transfer selected documents instantly
with selected participants, and exchange electronic business cards
automatically, without any wired connections.
The file transfer usage model offers the ability to transfer data
objects from one device to another. Object types include, among
others, ***.xls,***.ppt,***.wav,***.jpg,***.doc files or entire
folders, directories or streaming data formats. Also, this offers a
possibility to browse the contents of the folders on a remote device.
The Ultimate Headset: The Headset,
can be wirelessly connected for the purpose of acting as a remote
device's audio input and output interface .The headset increases the
freedom of movement while maintaining privacy. The headset can be
typically used with a cellular headset, cordless handset or personal
computer for audio input and output. This headset will also have the
ability to answer incoming calls and then terminate them without
physically manipulating the telephone handset.
Connect your wireless headset to your mobile phone, mobile computer or
any wired connection to keep your hands free for more important tasks
when you're at the office or in your car.
The Automatic Synchronizer: This
provides a device-to-device synchronization of the personal
information management (PIM) information. Synchronization requires
business card, calendar and task information to be transferred and
processed by computers, cellular phones and PDA s, utilizing a common
protocol and format. This involves, automatic synchronization of your
desktop, mobile computer, notebook (PC-PDA and PC-HPC) and your mobile
phone. For instance, as soon as you enter your office, the address
list and calendar in your notebook will automatically be updated to
agree with the one in your desktop, or vice versa.