Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

Difference between GPS and GPRS

GPS and GPRS appear to be similar terms. However, they are completely distinct in meaning. The key difference between these GPS and GPRS systems is that GPS is a satellite-based navigation system, whereas GPRS is a cellular-based data service. GPS enables various applications, including surveying, satellite operation, mapping, power grid, precision agriculture, telecom, intelligent cars, etc. In contrast, GPRS provides applications like multimedia messaging, email access, video calling, etc.

In this article, you will learn about the difference between GPS and GPRS. But before discussing the differences, you must know about GPS and GPRS with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is GPS?

GPS is an abbreviation for "Global Positioning System". GPS is a satellite-based positioning system. The GPS network employs satellites to determine the real location of an object or place on Earth. The GPS network is comprised of a constellation of 24 operating satellites as well as some backup satellites. These satellites take 11 hours and 58 minutes to orbit the Earth at a height of over 20,180 kilometers.

GPS satellites are positioned in such a way that a receiver should have a clear line of sight to at least 4 satellites from almost everywhere on Earth's surface. It is critical because GPS point location needs the use of at least four satellites to derive three position coordinates and the clock deviation, a process known as trilateration.

When the GPS navigator receives insufficient information, the trilateration procedure fails. It occurs owing to the ionosphere and troposphere, which slow the signal speed. In this case, the GPS system alerts the user of the failure instead of delivering inaccurate information. GPS units are receivers like mobile phones that may transmit and receive signals. Each GPS satellite sends a navigational message to the planet, including an exceptionally accurate timestamp.

All GPS signals are broadcast at 1.57542 GHz (L1 Signals) and 1.2276 GHz (L2 Signals), and satellites broadcast their position at the time of transmission. These two bits of data allow you to determine your position on the Earth with all satellites providing the correct time to Earth. The GPS receiver can determine your distance by measuring signal transmission and reception duration.

Advantages and Disadvantages of GPS

There are various advantages and disadvantages of GPS. Some main advantages and disadvantages of GPS are as follows:


  1. GPS is very simple to use because it navigates you in the right direction for each turn you take; otherwise, you'll have to fancy your way to your destination.
  2. The GPS service is free because the US Defense Department pays for the GPS system. The US Department of Defense maintains and upgrades it. It is less expensive than other navigation systems.
  3. It gives the user location-based information. It will be useful in various apps, including mapping, location, performance analysis, GIS, etc.
  4. It works in all weather conditions, so you don't worry about it like you would with other navigation devices.
  5. It also allows you to search for local restaurants, hotels, and petrol stations, which is extremely useful for a replacement location.


  1. If you're using GPS on a battery-powered gadget, the battery may fail, and you will need the use an external power supply, which is not always accessible.
  2. GPS signals cannot pass through solid walls or constructions. Massive projects or structures also harm it.
  3. GPS accuracy is dependent on the quality of the received signal. GPS signals are impacted by multipath, the atmosphere (i.e., the ionosphere), electromagnetic interference, and other factors. It causes a 5 to 10-meter inaccuracy in the GPS signal.
  4. The GPS chip uses a large amount of power and drains the battery in 8 to 12 hours. It necessitates the replacement or recharging of the battery.
  5. However, the US DoD now controls the system, and users utilize it for free. It is in the hands of the US to authorize or prohibit GPS service at any time.

What is GPRS?

GPRS is an abbreviation for "General packet radio service". It is a packet-oriented cellular data standard for 2G and 3G cellular communication networks on global mobile communication. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) created GPRS because of the previous CDPD and I-mode packet switched cell improvements.

GPRS replaces wired communications because it simplifies access to packet information networks like the internet. GPRS employs the packet radio protocol to deliver client information packets in an organized path between GSM flexible stations and external packet information networks. These packets may be easily directed from GPRS portable stations to packet-switched systems. It is utilized for email access, multimedia messaging, video calling, etc.

Advantages and Disadvantages of GPRS

There are various advantages and disadvantages of GPRS. Some main advantages and disadvantages of GPRS are as follows:


  1. It provides wireless internet access regardless of location at the time of accessible network signal.
  2. Most mobile phones may be used as modems when connected to a laptop. GPRS is a fantastic backup alternative.
  3. Despite the new technologies, GPRS remains faster than previous WAP and standard GSM services. GPRS data is transmitted at speeds ranging from 9.6 to 114 kilobytes per second.
  4. When you connect to the Internet via GPRS, incoming calls from the GSM network are not blocked. It permits you to make or receive mobile phone calls while browsing the internet or downloading files.
  5. It allows the user to browse data via the internet on a mobile or laptop and access a remote place.


  1. The network may be impacted when multiple GPRS users in the same region use the GPRS services concurrently. It causes congestion which results in slower data connection.
  2. GPRS connections are slower than 56K connections on laptops. It's because of GPRS limits.
  3. GPRS connections are quicker than those on other networks because there is less traffic on the base station used for the internet connection.
  4. Even when the connection is idle, GPRS technology uses the GSM of the mobile network to transport data.
  5. It is a GPRS device of the B class. When two radios are integrated into a gadget, both functionalities can operate at the same time.

Key differences between the GPS and GPRS

Difference between GPS and GPRS

Here, you will learn the various key differences between GPS and GPRS. Various differences between GPS and GPRS are as follows:

  1. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and provides positioning services. In contrast, GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service and provides wireless integrated voice and data services.
  2. GPS is a positioning service that determines location. On the other hand, GPRS is a data service accessible on mobile phones that allows users to access email and the internet.
  3. GPS may be utilized from anywhere on the planet because the satellites are orbiting at such high altitudes. In contrast, the GPRS system has limited range access because of the land-based cellular tower.
  4. GPS interacts with Earth-orbiting satellites. In contrast, GPRS interacts with a terrestrial tower.
  5. GPS is quite expensive because the satellites utilized are pricey. In contrast, GPRS is more inexpensive than GPS.
  6. GPS provides the location of an object in terms of latitude and longitude. In contrast, GPRS is an improved version of GSM that delivers high data speeds for cellular systems.
  7. GPS may interact with a wide range of technologies, including GSM, LTE, and WiMAX. In contrast, the GPRS system is an integral component of the GSM network switching.
  8. GPS has applications in exploration, mapping, surveying, and other fields. In contrast, GPRS applications include accessing emails, video calls, multimedia messaging, etc.

Head-to-head comparison between GPS and GPRS

Here, you will learn the head-to-head comparisons between GPS and GPRS. The main differences between GPS and GPRS are as follows:

Features GPS GPRS
Full Forms GPS is an abbreviation for Global Positioning System. GPRS is an abbreviation for General Packet Radio Service.
Purpose It offers positioning services. It offers voice and data services used on mobile phones.
Working It interacts with a satellite group that orbits the Earth. It interacts with a terrestrial tower.
Primary Objective The primary goal of GPS is to enable any civil or military user to identify their geographical location. The main goal of GPRS is to enable or permit voice and data communication between various packet-switched networks, such as mobile phones.
Cost Efficiency GPS is less cost-effective. It is significantly more expensive than GPRS. GPRS is more cost-effective. It is significantly less expensive than GPS.
Number of stations required It requires at least three of more than three stations. It needs only one station.
Location of usage It may be utilized from anywhere on the planet because the satellites are orbiting at such high altitudes. It has limited range access due to the land-based cellular tower.
Technologies used It may interact with a wide range of technologies, including GSM, LTE, WiMAX, etc. It is an integral component of GSM network switching.
Usage and applications It has applications in exploration, mapping, surveying, and other fields. GPRS applications include accessing emails, video calls, multimedia messaging, etc.


GPS and GPRS are two distinct technologies that perform opposing functions. GPS is a navigation system that communicates with satellites orbiting the Earth and may be reached even from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Along with positioning, GPS aids in defence, agriculture, and surveying. In contrast, GPRS is utilized on any wireless device to send both voice and data, and it communicates with a terrestrial tower to deliver data.

Next TopicDifference between

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA