The Difference Between GPRS & EGPRS

By Jesse Sears

EGPRS is an evolution of the GPRS cell phone data transfer protocol.
i cell phone image by Mat Hayward from

The operating difference between GPRS and EGPRS is that EGPRS, also called EDGE, is a newer development on and extension of GPRS technology offering much faster packet data transfer speeds. This leads to an overall better mobile data experience.


GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service and is the oldest data transfer method used on all modern cell phones. GPRS works by breaking up data into packets which are sent over the air between your GPRS-compatible phone and your carrier. GPRS offers theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 115 kbps, though real-world speeds are typically much slower.


EGPRS stands for Enhanced General Packet Radio Service and denotes GPRS networks operating with the aid of the newer EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) standard. EDGE operates by transferring data packets under a greater number of pathways simultaneously for faster data speeds. EDGE speeds can reach 236 kbps, though again real-world speeds are usually lower.

Newer Technologies

Both GPRS and EDGE have been bested in speed by newer 3G and 4G technologies like UMTS, HSDPA and WiMAX. Still, newer 3G devices often revert to 2.5G (GPRS and EDGE) data transfer methods in areas where faster data speed is not available.