While the 2G network works sufficiently for voice calls, adding data to the mix can be debilitating to a 2G phone. In order to transfer data a phone on the 2G network takes up to 30 seconds to log onto the Circuit Switched Data network; can only handle data during this time; and is limited to a transfer speed of 14.4 kilobits per second.
Cell phones that operate on the 2G, or GSM, network can make voice calls with clarity and reliability but they face certain restrictions. The GPRS, or General Packet Radio Service, rectifies these shortcomings.
Phones that incorporate GPRS still function within the confines of 2G for voice calls but incorporate the GPRS for data. This allows them to instantaneously transfer data without waiting to connect and to handle data and voice calls simultaneously.
There are many classes of GPRS data transfer but the highest is Class 12. This class allows for uploads and downloads with a maximum speed between 32 and 48 kilobits per seconds creating a 2.5G phone of sorts.
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