GPS vs. GPRS
Although there is only one letter separating GPS and GPRS, they are worlds apart when you examine their technology and functions. GPS is a positioning service that can determine any location on earth, through a process called trilateration, hence the name Global Positioning System. On the other hand, GPRS is a data service technology that enables 2G telecommunication networks to provide services other than voice calls. These services include access to email, multimedia messaging, and a somewhat limited access to the internet.
As stated above, GPS and GPRS play specific roles, and are not compete technologies. GPS is an old military technology that is now beginning to mature in the market, since it was not that long ago when full civilian access was given by the US government. Full access allowed receivers to pinpoint their location within 10 feet, making it a viable tracking tool for location and navigation devices used in planes, boats, and its most popular use nowadays, cars. The accuracy allows the navigation devices to give you real time directions. GPRS is a part of the 2G technologies, and is rather old. In most parts of the developed world, GPRS has been replaced by superior 3G technology. It can be thought of as the dial-up equivalent for mobile phones.
The workings of both also differ significantly, as GPS receives information from satellites on low earth orbit, while GPRS communicates with terrestrial cellular towers. GPRS needs just one cell tower with adequate signal in order to work properly. GPS, on the other hand, needs three or more satellites due to basic principles of trilateration. Due to the extreme height of the orbiting satellites, you can use your GPS device just about anywhere in the world, even in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. GPRS is limited to cellular towers located on land.
1. GPS is a positioning service, while GPRS is a data service used in mobile phones.
2. GPS is used to identify your location on earth, while GPRS is used to access emails, and to browse the internet.
3. GPS communicates with a collection of satellites that orbit the earth, while GPRS communicates with a terrestrial tower.
4. GPS requires three or more stations to work, while GPRS requires just one.
5. GPS can be used anywhere that you can see the sky, while GPRS is more limited in range.