GPS vs GPRS: Difference and Comparison

Technology plays a vital role in our lives. No one can escape this salient necessity in our daily lives. There are many systems that we utilize to make our lives easy.

When we contemplate our daily routine, we can observe the importance of technology gadgets and our increased dependency on technology.

Technology has reached all pockets of our lives. Whether it is communication, entertainment, searching for information, or even travelling, technology surrounds us. GPS and GPRS have a difference of one letter between them.

Both are two entirely different technology in mobile phones or other devices. GPS is a navigation system that pinpoints the accurate location of the handset with the help of a satellite.

GPRS is a technology utilized to transfer data using a cellphone network.

Key Takeaways

  1. GPS (Global Positioning System) uses satellite signals to provide precise location and navigation information, whereas GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is a cellular network-based data transfer technology.
  2. GPS is primarily used for positioning and navigation, while GPRS enables wireless internet access and communication services such as text messaging and multimedia messaging.
  3. GPS requires a clear line of sight to satellites for accurate positioning, while GPRS relies on the availability of cellular network coverage for data transmission.


GPS means Global Positioning System, and it is a satellite system that removes around the earth and provides navigation services to mobile devices like smartphones. GPRS means General Packet Radio Service, and it is a technology used to transfer data on a smartphone, and the range is limited on land.


GPS is a satellite-based navigation system. The primary purpose of GPS is to provide Positioning service. GPS facilitates applications such as surveying, mapping, and precision agriculture.

GPS communicates with satellites orbiting the Earth. GPS is accessible on land, air, or water. GPRS is a cellular-based technology. The primary purpose of GPRS is to provide a voice and data facility.

GPRS facilitates E-mail access, multimedia messaging, and video calling. GPRS communicates with the terrestrial tower. The range is limited and utilized on the land.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGPSGPRS
Full formGPS means a Global positioning system.GPRS means General Packet radio services.
PurposeGPS is a positioning service.GPRS provides voice and data service.
CommunicationGPS communicates with satellites orbiting around Earth.GPRS only communicates with terrestrial towers.
ConnectivityGPS is compatible with the land, sky, or water.GPRS has a limited range and can be accessed only on land.
CostGPS system is expensive.GPRS network is economical.

What is GPS?

GPS is the short form of the term Global Positioning System. The main facility is to provide positioning services based on the latitude and longitude of the specified object.

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GPS uses a network of satellites orbiting the planet. A smartphone or any navigation device with a built-in receiver chip that can receive a signal from the satellite helps in GPS.

Each indicator is time-coded, so the device calculates the distance between the satellite and the object. Based on the time the signal takes to activate, the GPS combines the interspace from four satellites to calculate the accurate position of the device.

GPS facilitates applications like the mapping of the power grid, telecom, defence, and even agriculture. During online shopping, the stores utilize the GPS location to ship the parcel to your doorstep.

The GPS network consists of a constellation of 24 operational satellites orbiting the Earth. The positioning of the satellite allows a direct line of contact to at least four satellites.

All GPS units are receivers, and they send and receive signals. The GPS satellite broadcasts a message to Earth that contains the accurate positioning of the device.

GPS Alternatives:

Many phones may not have a GPS receiver. There is another method of scanning the phone for WI-FI and checking the IP address in the network to find the location. This method is not as reliable as GPS.


What is GPRS?

GPRS means General Packet Radio Service. It is the most popular second-generation cellular system, and it is the standard technology utilized to transfer data on all the latest mobile phones.

The introduction of the GPRS with the first handset was known as 2G or ‘Egde’ You may have noticed the symbol ‘E’ near the signal bar notifying the same. It supports the faster connection currently termed 3G

The main application of GPRS is e-mail access, voice and video calling. Internet browsing and multimedia messaging are also part of GPRS.

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GPRS is the sister technology of GSM(Global System for Mobile Communication) technology used in voice calls. GPRS breaks the data into smaller packets for connection.

If there are any issues in the receiving device, the missing data packet is recalled instead of starting the entire data transmission again. It explains the transfer of data on the Internet.

Features of GPRS:

  • The speed of connection has improved over the years. It is now 56-118 kbps.
  • Provides constant connectivity and eliminates slow dial-up processes and uninterrupted internet services like audio and video conferences.
  • There are no lags in communication, and it maintains a contact voice and data communication even while travelling. 
  • Regardless of the location, the user will have no issues getting an immediate connection.

GPRS Alternatives:

The latest smartphone has faster data sharing, known as 4G. This technology is called WiMAX(Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) and LTT(Long Term Evolution). They encode and transmit data more efficiently.


Main Differences Between GPS and GPRS

  1. GPS is a positioning service that identifies the location. GPRS is a data service available on mobile phones to access e-mail and internet services.
  2. GPS communicates with satellites orbiting the Earth. GPRS communicates with the terrestrial tower.
  3. GPS communicates with a minimum of three to four stations. GPRS communicates with just one tower.
  4. GPS is usable from any part of the Earth as the satellites are orbiting at extreme heights. GPRS has limited range access due to the cellular tower located on the land.
  5. For the functioning of the GPS, it is expensive costs. The functioning of GPRS is less costly.
Difference Between GPS and GPRS

Last Updated : 23 August, 2023

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19 thoughts on “GPS vs GPRS: Difference and Comparison”

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