How do I know if there is GPRS coverage in the area?

There is no way to determine the loss of GPRS coverage. You must instead verify coverage via GSM registration (AT+CREG?).  This means that if you check GPRS (AT+CGATT?) it may show connected (0,5) even though it is not.   This specifies loss of coverage only for GSM not GPRS.
When a device is in a no coverage area, you will see “AT+CREG?” return “+CREG: 0,2” or “+CREG: 0,3” for GSM registration; meaning the device is searching or has been rejected on the current network or has limited service, respectively."
 

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