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What is GPRS?

GPRS, or General Packet Radio Service, is the mobile data that a 2G or 3G phone uses to access the internet. On a feature phone (like a Nokia), you will need to turn on the GPRS settings provided by your network provider. The local store should be able to help you do this. Often times, the provider has a "shortcode" you can dial that will automatically set up your phone with their GPRS settings. Other times you will need to manually set the phone up from within the settings, like the "Manual Setup Process" below. 

Things to verify with the selected Network Provider:

  • I need to use a SIM card that enables GPRS. (Not a "voice only" SIM card). Is this possible?
  • How do I turn on the GPRS for this type of phone?
  • How do you bill for data? Is it possible to bill per kilobyte (amount used) rather than the time connected?
  • Can I bundle the data package? How often does the bundle expire? How do I recharge it?
  • How much does the data cost if used outside of a bundle?

To Turn on the GPRS

Make sure the settings on your phone have been correctly configured to enable GPRS.  There are two ways to do this:

  1. Some providers will send GPRS settings to the handset upon receiving an activation request via SMS.  Depending on the provider, it may take a while for the settings to activate.
  2. Set up GPRS manually (process described below for many kinds of phones).

See below for country specific information

Manual Setup Process: Common process 

  1. Click “Menu”
  2. Scroll to “Settings” and click.
  3. Scroll to “Configuration” and click.
  4. Scroll to “Personal configuration setting” and click.
    1. If there is an existing, configuration, click “Options” and click “Delete”.
  5. Click “Options”.
  6. Scroll to “Add New” and click.
  7. Select “Web”.
  8. Scroll to “Use preferred access point” and verify it says “Yes”.
  9. Click “Back”
  10. Scroll to “My web” which you’ve just created.
  11. Click “Options” and click “Activate”.
  12. Click “Back”.
  13. Now in the main menu of the “Configuration Settings” page, scroll to “Default configuration setting” and click.
  14. Scroll “Personal configuration” and click.
  15. Then, click “Default”.
  16. Now we need to create an access point.
  17. Scroll to “Personal configuration setting” and click.
  18. Click “Options” and “Add New”.
  19. Select “Access Point”.
  20. Click “Access Point Settings”.
  21. This step does not show up in all phones (if it doesn't skip to Step 22): Verify the first list item, “Data Bearer”, is “Packet Data”, if not click and change it to “Packet Data”.  (If you can't find it here, go back to the original "Settings" menu and choose "Connectivity" instead of "Configuration", there is an option "Packet Data" -> "Packet Data Settings" --> "Edit Active Access Pt" --> "Packet Data Acc. Pt."  )
  22. Scroll to “Bearer Settings”, and click
  23. Scroll to “Packet data access point” and click.
  24. Delete “internet” and type in your local network provider's access point name (APN) (for example, the access location for mCel in Mozambique is “isp.mcel.mz”.)
    1. See below for known APNs.
  25. Click “Ok”.
  26. Click “Back” a few times to get to the “Personal Accounts” menu.  In this menu, you should see “My web” and “My access point” which are the settings you’ve just created.
  27. Scroll to “My access point” which we just created.
  28. Click “Options”.
  29. Click “Activate”.
  30. Click “Back”
  31. Now “Configuration Setting Page”, we need to verify “My access point” is listed under “Preferred access point”.
  32. Scroll to “Preferred access point” and click.
  33. Scroll and click “My access point”.
  34. Then, scroll to “Activate default in all apps” and click.  (This will apply the settings you created to all applications on the phone, including CommCare).
  35. Make sure to perform a CommCare "network test" before before you distribute the phone.

Testing GPRS Connection

  1. Log into CommCare phone application as "admin"
  2. click “Options” which is the left soft key button.
  3. Scroll down to “Network Test” and click.
  4. The network test will start automatically.
  5. The screen will say “Beginning test” and should shortly say “Connection open and configured”. 
  6. However, continue waiting because the internet connection to our server hasn’t yet been verified.
  7. Remember to watch for the “G” or “E” in the top left hand corner of the screen which indicates the phone is accessing the mobile network.
  8. If the connection is successful, it will say “Received response code”.
  9. If the connection is NOT successful, it will say “IO Exception [error in HTTP operation]”. 

Country Details



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Activation is the process of opting into a data-plan. Receiving GPRS settings is a setup process, receiving GPRS settings does not imply that GPRS is automatically activated. GPRS services can be activated by dialing a number or sending a specific text message after installing the received GPRS settings. Following are instructions to receive and activate GPRS settings. 

To receive GPRS Settings 

  • Vodafone: Dial *#06# from phone to recover IMEI. Record this number. SMS S<space><1st 15 digits of IMEI> to 52586. To speak to customer service agent dial 111 from phone. *IMPORTANT* GPRS settings get disabled for Vodafone if talk time balance falls below 1 INR.
  • Airtel
    By dialing in: Call 12118 from phone. To save receive GPRS Settings, dial 3.
    By sending an SMS: Send SMS with text MO to 2567. AIrtel will send automated system messages. Select save and install from options menu once the messages are received. 
    Web interface: Alternatively you can go to Airtel Web Interface to get GPRS settings 

Activation Request

  • Vodafone: text "ACT VL" to 144.  In response, you will receive a registration message, and then an activation message.  Even after receiving these messages, it may take a while for GPRS to activate.  If it still has not activated within 24 hours, repeate the process.  (Valid as of 6/2/2011)
  • Airtel:  
    By dialing in: Call 12118 from phone. To activate GPRS on your phone, dial 1. Press 3-Settings downloads.
    By sending an SMS: Send SMS with text GPRSACT to 511
    In case of any problems with setup, dial customer care (121) to ask for automated settings and  available GPRS data-plans.



BeninMTNinternet.mtn.bjeven with this apn correctly input, you'll likely need to contact MTN by phone in order to activate a data connection on your device
Burkina FasoAirtelinternet 
BurundiLeoucnetAPN Name: ucom
 AirtelwapNot recommended
SenegalTigointernet.tigo.snIf you have questions about Internet set up with Tigo, you can also call the number 1677.
 Orange (Sonatel)internet 
TogoMoovmoovUser name: "moov"; Password: "moov"


 Uganda Telecomutweb 
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