2.10 Small Screen Web Browsing over GPRS and EDGE

Although GPRS is a bearer for IP packets, it has some properties that distinguish it from fixed-line connections. These include longer latency, varying latency if used in moving environments and even loss of service for some time if the user moves outside the coverage area of the network. Furthermore, many devices that use GPRS for communication have limited abilities such as small screens and relatively low processing power when compared to notebooks or desktop PCs. Therefore, a number of applications for which the fixed-line Internet is widely used have been adapted for mobile environments. Web browsing is certainly the most popular Internet application. It benefits from a fast connection and depends on the reliability of the bearer, especially if web pages are big and thus take some time to be transferred, during which no transfer interruptions should occur. Modern web browsers are also designed to make use of big displays and processing power of notebooks or desktop workstations.

EDGE offers sufficient bandwidth today for web browsing. If the user wants to access information on a small mobile device, a number of different approaches can be taken to overcome the limitations of the relatively slow data transmission, the small screens, the limited processing power, etc.

2.10.1 WAP 1.1 Used in Early GPRS Devices

In the very early days of GPRS, the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) standard was created by the Wap Forum, which was ...

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