What is the difference between GSM, GPRS &EDGE?

GSM is the second-generation mobile telephony, limited to relatively low flow rates (9.6 Kbps). This technology has evolved to increase the flow, and two solutions can be implemented to increase this flow:


GPRS is a technology that realizes a group within the GSM frame by merging time-slots and thus allows better matching of data to GSM. GPRS allows introducing an Internet Protocol (IP) within the GSM system, and allows a transmission speed of 115 Kbit/s.

EDGE is a technology that represents an improvement in base stations by increasing the spectral efficiency (from a 4-state modulation type GMSK to 8PSK), a timeslot on the capacity from 9.6 Kbit/s to 48Kbit/s or 60Kbit/s in good radio conditions. The baseband filtering is linearized, which means that the 8PSK "fit" in the mask of GSM spectrum.

By combining these two technologies, one can in theory reach speeds of 500Kbits/s, but in practice, 3G networks are there to ensure the highest flow rates.

GPRS and EDGE with higher data rates than GSM and less than UMTS are sometimes called 2G ½.