IT LOVER

25/03/2009

GPRS Limitations

Filed under: GPRS ZONE — टैग्स: — pankaj kuamr @ 1:37 अपराह्न

GPRS  Limitations

It should already be clear that GPRS is an important new enabling mobile data service which offers a major improvement in spectrum efficiency, capability and functionality compared with today’s nonvoice mobile services. However, it is important to note that there are some limitations with GPRS, which can be summarized as:

Limited Cell Capacity for All Users
GPRS does impact a network’s existing cell capacity. There are only limited radio resources that can be deployed for different uses – use for one purpose precludes simultaneous use for another. For example, voice and GPRS calls both use the same network resources. The extent of the impact depends upon the number of timeslots, if any, that are reserved for exclusive use of GPRS. However, GPRS does dynamically manage channel allocation and allow a reduction in peak time signalling channel loading by sending short messages over GPRS channels instead.

RESULT: NEED FOR SMS as a complementary bearer that uses a different type of radio resource.

Speeds Much Lower in Reality
Achieving the theoretical maximum GPRS data transmission speed of 172.2 kbps would require a single user taking over all eight timeslots without any error protection. Clearly, it is unlikely that a network operator will allow all timeslots to be used by a single GPRS user. Additionally, the initial GPRS terminals are expected be severely limited – supporting only one, two or three timeslots. The bandwidth available to a GPRS user will therefore be severely limited. As such, the theoretical maximum GPRS speeds should be checked against the reality of constraints in the networks and terminals. The reality is that mobile networks are always likely to have lower data transmission speeds than fixed networks.

RESULT: Relatively high mobile data speeds may not be available to individual mobile users until Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) or Universal Mobile Telephone System (UMTS) are introduced.

 

Support of GPRS Mobile Terminate by Terminals is Not Ensured
At the time of writing, there has been no confirmation from any handset vendors that mobile terminated GPRS calls (i.e. receipt of GPRS calls on the mobile phone) will be supported by the initial GPRS terminals. Availability or not of GPRS MT is a central question with critical impact on the GPRS business case such as application migration from other nonvoice bearers.

By originating the GPRS session, users confirm their agreement to pay for the delivery of content from that service. This origination may well be performed using a Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) session using the WAP microbrowser that will be built into GHPRS terminals. However, mobile terminated IP traffic might allow unsolicited information to reach the terminal. Internet sources originating such unsolicited content may not be chargeable. A possible worse case scenario would be that mobile users would have to pay for receiving unsolicited junk content. This is a potential reason for a mobile vendor NOT to support GPRS Mobile Terminate in their GPRS terminals.

However, there is always the possibility of unsolicited or unwanted information being communicated through any media, but that does not mean that we would wish to preclude the possibility of any kind of communication through that means altogether. A network side solution such as GGSN or charging platform policing would be preferable rather than a non-flexible limitation built into all the GPRS handsets.

When we asked Nokia about this issue, it commented: “Details of the Nokia GPRS terminals are not available at this time. It is too early to confirm whether MT will be supported in the first Nokia GPRS terminals”. The company’s policy is not to make details available about products before they are announced. Readers should contact the GSM Association, Mobile Lifestreams Limited and/or the vendors directly to encourage them to incorporate support for GPRS MT in their initial terminals.

RESULT: GPRS usability and therefore business case is threatened if GPRS MT is not supported by GPRS terminals.

Suboptimal Modulation
GPRS is based on a modulation technique known as Gaussian minimum-shift keying (GMSK). EDGE is based on a new modulation scheme that allows a much higher bit rate across the air interface – this is called eight-phase-shift keying (8 PSK) modulation. Since 8 PSK will also be used for UMTS, network operators will need to incorporate it at some stage to make the transition to third generation mobile phone systems.

RESULT: NEED FOR EDGE.

Transit Delays
GPRS packets are sent in all different directions to reach the same destination. This opens up the potential for one or some of those packets to be lost or corrupted during the data transmission over the radio link. The GPRS standards recognise this inherent feature of wireless packet technologies and incorporate data integrity and retransmission strategies. However, the result is that potential transit delays can occur.

Because of this, applications requiring broadcast quality video may well be implemented using High Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD). HSCSD is simply a Circuit Switched Data call in which a single user can take over up to four separate channels at the same time. Because of its characteristic of end to end connection between sender and recipient, transmission delays are less likely.

RESULT: NEED FOR HSCSD.

No Store and Forward
Whereas the Store and Forward Engine in the Short Message Service is the heart of the SMS Center and key feature of the SMS service, there is no storage mechanism incorporated into the GPRS standard, apart from the incorporation of interconnection links between SMS and GPRS.

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