The GPS and GPRS seem to be similar terms but are absolutely different in the sense. The difference between GPS and GPRS is that GPS is satellite-based navigation system whereas GPRS is used for providing cellular based data services.
GPS facilitates a varying array of applications such as satellite operation, surveying and mapping, power grid, telecom, intelligent vehicles, precision agriculture etc. On the other hand, GPRS renders application such as Email accessing, multimedia messaging, video calling, etc.
Content: GPS Vs GPRS
|Basis for comparison||GPS||GPRS|
|Stands for||Global Positioning System||General Packet Radio Service|
|Purpose||Provides positioning service.||Provides voice and data services used in mobile phones.|
|Application||Navigation, surveying, mapping, GIS, etc.||Email accessing, multimedia messaging, video calling, etc.|
|Working||GPS communicates with a collection of satellites that orbit the earth.||GPRS communicates with a terrestrial tower.|
|Number of stations required||3 or more||1|
|Utilization||GPS can be used anywhere sky, land, seas, etc.||GPRS is limited in range and is available only on land.|
Definition of GPS
GPS (Global Positioning System) is a positioning system based on satellite. GPS network uses satellites to determine the accurate position of an object on the earth. GPS network is made up of a constellation of 24 operational satellites and some extra for backup purpose. These satellites orbiting the earth at over 20,180 kilometers altitude and each take 11 hours and 58 minutes.
In GPS the satellites are arranged in such a way that from almost anywhere on the surface of earth receiver should have a direct line of sight of at least four satellites. This is vital because GPS point positioning requires at least four satellites to calculate three position coordinates and the clock deviation, this process is known as trilateration.
Sometimes trilateration process fails, when GPS navigator receives inadequate information, this takes place due to ionosphere and troposphere which retard the signals speed. In that situation, GPS system notifies the user about the failure instead of sending the incorrect information.
As GPS units are receivers, such as mobile phone which are capable of sending and receiving signals. Each GPS satellite broadcasts a navigational message towards the earth which contains an extremely accurate timestamp (obtained through atomic clocks available in satellites).
The satellites also broadcast their position at the time of broadcast, with all GPS signals broadcasting at 1.57542 GHz (L1 Signals) and 1.2276 GHz (L2 Signals). These two bits of information allow you to determine the position on the earth with all the satellites sending accurate time to earth. The GPS receiver can compare the difference of time between the signal being sent and received to devise the distance between you.
Elements of GPS
- Space Segment: This includes the satellite orbiting the earth.
- Control Segment: This segment includes the stations placed on the earth’s equator for governing the satellites.
- User Segment: The segment involves an entity (person or organisation) that receives and uses the GPS signals.
Definition of GPRS
General Packet Radio System (GPRS) is the most popular second-generation cellular system which provides high rate data services. GPRS is also known as 2.5 Generation of mobile and telecommunication and is enhanced version of 2G GSM network. GPRS implement the concept of packet switching for allowing the data services to be sent and received across the network while GSM used circuit switching.
However, more technologies and generations have evolved after GPRS. GPRS also employs latest schemes for timeslot bundling and channel coding. Internet protocol (IP) based principal architecture is incorporated to support integrated voice and data applications within wireless packet data networks.
Features of GPRS
- The speed of the connection has improved which is around 56-118 Kbps by combining GSM time slots.
- Provides always-on connectivity without continuous consumption of the data and eliminates the slow dial-up process.
- Enables full internet services like video conferencing.
- Provides mobility, which means that it maintains the constant voice and data communication even when the user is moving.
- Offers immediate service; the user can get the immediate connection regardless of location.
Key Differences Between GPS and GPRS
- GPS is the abbreviation for the term Global Positioning System which provides positioning service whereas GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service which provides wireless integrated voice and data services.
- GPS specifies the object location in terms of latitude and longitude. On the contrary, GPRS is the enhanced version of GSM which provides high data rates for the cellular systems.
- GPS uses a constellation of 24 satellites that orbit the earth to locate the position. On the other hand, the GPRS uses terrestrial towers to communicate.
- GPRS requires just one station while GPS needs three stations for functioning.
- GPS is very costly as the satellites used are expensive. As against, the GPRS is low priced.
- GPRS is limited in range and works well only on land where the BST’s (Base Transceiver System) are installed. In contrast, the GPS system covers a broader range and can work well even in seas and sky.
GPS and GPRS are different terms and serves the different purpose. GPS is positioning system based on satellite, which includes navigation, surveying, mapping and GIS (Geographic information system). On the other side, GPRS is used for enabling the high data rate services (voice and data) on wireless devices or in a cellular network such as real-time video calling on mobiles etc.