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T-Mobil T-D1 GSM / GPRS Network, Germany

Key Data

T-Mobil, one of Germany's leading mobile network operators, is responsible for the T-D1 network that operates across the country. As part of its campaign to improve and update this network, T-Mobil decided to provide high-speed data service availability to all subscribers to its T-D1 grid by mid-2000. It chose Motorola's Network Solutions Sector (NSS) general packet radio service (GPRS) core network system solution for implementating the countrywide GSM (global service for mobile communications) network. The first live GPRS call in Germany using the GPRS solution was made on the T-Mobil network in November 1999.


GPRS enables high-speed access to internet-based content and services via a mobile terminal. It enables a number of data applications, including e-commerce, email and data transfer. The implementation of the GPRS network solution includes the serving GPRS support node (SGSN) and the gateway GPRS support node (GGSN). The GPRS architecture can be implemented over an existing GSM network, protecting the operators' investment. The GSM infrastructure systems are GPRS-ready, requiring only a software load and PCU addition, so no modifications need to be made to the existing hardware.

GPRS, which has been standardised by ETSI as part of the GSM Phase 2+ developments, represents the first implementation of packet switching within GSM, which is essentially a circuit-switched technology. Rather than sending a continuous stream of data over a permanent connection, packet switching only uses the network when there is data to be sent. Using GPRS will enable T-Mobil users to send and receive data at speeds of up to 115Kbps (kilobits per second).


The implementation of GPRS could bring a number of benefits to GSM network operators. It brings the internet protocol (IP) capability to the GSM network and enables a connection to a wide range of public and private data networks, using industry-standard data protocols such as TCP/IP and X.25. GPRS is efficient in its use of scarce spectrum resources and enables GSM operators to introduce a wide range of value-added services for market differentiation. GPRS is ideal for 'bursty'-type data applications such as email or internet access. It can also enable a 'virtual permanent connection' to data sources, allowing information to arrive rather than being sought. This cannot be achieved using standard circuit-switched networks. By upgrading networks to GPRS, existing GSM operators will have third-generation-capable networks, as UMTS will use packet switching technology. The key to GPRS technology is that it offers a higher data speed, allows users to pay by volume and not time and there is also a permanent virtual connection.

Motorola and Cisco Systems, Inc have formed a strategic alliance to develop and deliver a framework for internet-based, wireless networks. Cisco Systems' GSM Packet Data Gateway module, available on the 7200 router, enables wireless IP and introduces an open, internet-based platform for integrated data, voice and video services over cellular networks.