GPRS, 3G, GSM etc in terms of Blackberry functionality

Posted on 2009-12-29
Last Modified: 2013-12-09

On my BB, the network type sometimes changes between GSM, GPRS and 3G...

Can someone *easily* explain the difference between the three in terms of Blackberry connectivity?
Question by:kam_uk
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    It can be hard to understand everything about these network types.

    This link will provide a short explanation of them:

    Guide to GSM, GPRS, 3G, EDGE, HSDPA
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Very easily explained it is like this:

    GSM = For phone calls and SMS, MMS, etc.
    GPRS = Data transfer, surfing, downloading, etc
    3G = Video calls and transfer of much data
    LVL 3

    Author Comment


    So, essentially, the difference between GRPS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA is the speed at which the technology is able to transmit data to/from the handheld?

    Is there a difference in terms of the frequency?

    Also - let's say I want to use my BB just for email messages (and the occasional small attachment) - is there any benefit to using EDGE, 3G etc, why not just use GPRS? And what would be the benefit of just using GPRS?
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    GSM operates on a frequency in the range of about 900-1800Mhz and 3G operates on frequencies around 25-45 Mhz

    You better check up those numbers, though.

    Main difference would be speed and technology.

    It depends if you want to use your BB to sync with corporate email or just private email. Companies often use Blackberry Enterprise Servers to synchronize emails. Those require GPRS/EDGE/3G.

    I am using push mail over 3G and think that is the best for that use. I think it depends a lot of what your provider takes for the data transfer. Some provide free or limited data transfer for EDGE.

    I would have checked with my provider to see which technology allows most data traffic for lowest cost.

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