The first stepping stone in migration path to third generation wireless mobile services (3G) is the General Packet Radio Services, GPRS, a packet-switched technology that delivers speeds of up to 115kbps. If GPRS is already in place, Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) technology is most effective as the second stepping stone that gives a low impact migration. Only software upgrades and EDGE plug-in transceiver units are needed. The approach protects operators' investments by allowing them to reuse their existing network equipment and radio systems.
The EDGE technology will enable GSM and TDMA operators to deliver third-generation mobile multimedia services using existing network frequencies, bandwidth, carrier structure and cell planning process. By using a more efficient air-modulation technology optimized for data communications, EDGE increases end-user data rates up to 384kbit/s and potentially higher in good-quality radio environments .