The general packet radio service (GPRS) is a new bearer service for GSM that greatly improves and simplifies wireless access to packet data networks, e.g., to the Internet. It applies a packet radio principle to transfer user data packets in an efficient way between mobile stations and external packet data networks. This tutorial gives an introduction to GPRS. The article discusses the system architecture and its basic functionality. It explains the offered services, the session and mobility management, the routing, the GPRS air interface including channel coding, and the GPRS protocol architecture. Finally, an interworking example between GPRS and IP networks is shown.