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LTE: All-IP, simplified network architecture

LTE+EPC

Evolved Packet Core

IP channel

(All-IP)

eNode B

Transport (backhaul and backbone)

What is EPC ?

New, all-IP mobile core network introduced with LTE

End-to-end IP (All-IP)
Clear delineation of control plane and data plane
Simplified architecture: flat-IP architecture with a single core

EPC was previously called SAE (System Architecture Evolution)


eNodeB is also called E-UTRAN
Evolved Packet System = EPC + E-UTRAN
The EPC is a multi-access core network based on the Internet Protocol (IP) that enables operators to deploy and operate
one common packet core network for 3GPP radio access (LTE, 3G, and 2G), non-3GPP radio access (HRPD, WLAN, and
WiMAX), and fixed access (Ethernet, DSL, cable, and fiber).
The EPC is defined around the three important paradigms of mobility, policy management, and security.
Source: IEEE Communications Magazine V47 N2 February 2009

4 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

REF: http://www.comsoc.org/livepubs//ci1/public/2009/feb/pdf/ciguest_bogineni.pdf

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.

Mobile core in 2G/3G

5 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.

LTE and EPC what is new?

7 | Technical Sales Forum | May 2008

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EPC: new all-IP core, new network elements (functions)


2G/3G
GSM
GPRS
EDGE

GMSC

UMTS

Other
mobile
networks

MSC
IP channel

BTS

PSTN

MGW

Circuit Switched
Core (Voice)

Voice
Channels

Softswitch

BSC / RNC
Node B

HSPA

SGSN

EPC elements

Internet

Packet Switched
Core

GGSN

VPN

Serving Gateway (SGW)


Packet Data Network (PDN) Gateway (PGW)
Mobility Management Element (MME)
Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF)

LTE/EPC

MME

IP channel
SGW
eNode B

8 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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PCRF

Evolved Packet Core

PDN GW

EPC elements
LTE/EPC

MME

IP channel
SGW
eNode B

PCRF

Evolved Packet Core

PDN GW

Serving Gateway
Serving a large number of eNodeBs, focus on scalability

EPC elements

9 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

and security
Packet Data Network (PDN) Gateway
IP management (IP anchor), connection to external
data networks; focus on highly scalable data
connectivity and QoS enforcement
Mobility Management Element (MME)
Control-plane element, responsible for high volume
mobility management and connection management
(thousands of eNodeBs)
Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF)
Network-wide control of flows: detection, gating, QoS
and flow-based charging, authorizes network-wide use of
QoS resources (manages millions on service data flows)

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.

USER PLANE (UP)

LTE + EPC elements and interfaces

CONTROL PLANE (CP)

S6a

HSS

Rx

S10

External networks
Operator Services

MME

S1-MME

PCRF

Applications

S11
Gx
eNodeB

Internet

S1-U
SGi

S5/S8

X2
S1-U
SGW
UE

IMS

eNodeB

PGW

EPC
IP connectivity layer (Evolved Packet System) = E-UTRAN + EPC
Service Connectivity Layer

10 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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ACPs

Flat IP = less hierarchy means lower latency


GSM
UMTS
CDMA

control plane
RNC
BSC

Node B
BTS

GGSN
HA

direct tunnel

data plane
RNC
BSC

LTE

SGSN
PDSN

SGSN
PDSN

GGSN
HA

control plane
MME

eNode B

data plane
SGW

11 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

S/P GW

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PGW

Key implications on user plane (UP) and control plane (CP)


Control plane gets new mobile-specific attributes

User plane has many common attributes


with fixed broadband

Broadband capacity
QoS for multi-service delivery
Per-user and per-application policies
Highly available network elements

BSC

SGSN/GGSN

GSM/GPRS/EDGE

RNC

Mobility across networks (and operator domains)


Distributed mobility management
Massive increase in scalability
Dynamic policy management

SGSN/GGSN

RNC

WCDMA/HSPA

PDSN

CDMA/EV-DO

Service Delivery
Platforms

LTE

IP channel

MME
SGW
eNode B

12 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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PCRF

Evolved Packet Core

PDN GW

Quick Reference:
Overview of EPC components and functionality
eNB

eNodeB:
all radio access functions

Policy, Charging & Rules Function

Inter Cell RRM

Network control of Service Data Flow (SDF)


detection, gating, QoS & flow based charging
Dynamic policy decision on service data flow
treatment in the PCEF (xGW)
Authorizes QoS resources

RB Control

Radio admission control

Scheduling of UL and DL data

Connection Mobility Cont.

Scheduling and transmission of


paging and system broadcast

Radio Admission Control

IP header compression (PDCP)


Outer-ARQ (RLC)

MME
NAS Security
eNB Measurement
Configuration & Provision

PCRF

Idle State Mobility


Handling

Dynamic Resource
Allocation (Scheduler)

Policy
EPS Bearer Control

Decisions

RRC
PDCP
S-GW

P-GW

RLC
Mobility
Anchoring

MAC

UE IP address
allocation

PDN Gateway

IP anchor point for bearers


UE IP address allocation
Per-user based packet filtering
Connectivity to packet data network

S1
PHY

Packet Filtering
internet

E-UTRAN

EPC

Mobility Management Entity


Authentication
Tracking area list management
Idle mode UE reachability
S-GW/PDN-GW selection
Inter core network node signaling for
mobility between 2G/3G and LTE
Bearer management functions

13 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

Serving Gateway

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Local mobility anchor for inter-eNB handovers


Mobility anchoring for inter-3GPP handovers
Idle mode DL packet buffering
Lawful interception
Packet routing and forwarding

All-IP mobile transformation


2G/3G

CS Core
Backhaul (TDM/ATM)
PS Core
Node B
BTS
BS

SGSN
PDSN

RNC

GGSN
HA

Radio
intelligence
moving to
eNodeB

Backhaul
haul
transition
tion
to IP/Ethernet
hernet

RNC bearer
mobility
evolves to
the SGW

MSC voice and


packet data
switching
evolve into
the SGW

CS and PS
evolve into a
unified all-IP
domain

Best effort to
e2e QoS

Internet
Inte
browsing
brow
tto
Web 2.0+

RNC control
distributed
into
the MME/eNB

Packet data
control
evolves into
the MME

LTE
Backhaul
ul (IP/Ethernet)

PCRF
MME

Service and mobile aware


all-IP network
eNodeB
eN

14 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

SGW

Evolved Packet Core

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.

PDN GW

LTE: more than an evolution for the packet core


Existing paradigm (3G)

LTE

Voice

Circuit switched (CS)

No (CS) core in LTE


- e2e IP: VoIP (IMS), OneVoice
- Through EPC: OTT, SR-VCC
-Alternatives: CS fallback, VOLGA

Broadband
services

Best effort,
Limited expensive broadband

Real-time, interactive,
low latency, true broadband QoS

Multisession
data

- Rudimentary in 3G (none in 2G/2.5G)


- On request

Based on service data flows (IP flows)


- user-initiated sessions
- network-initiated sessions

QoS

- Driven by UE
-Control-plane intensive setup
- theory: up to 8 CoS, practice: 2 4
(voice/control, best effort data)

-Driven by policy management, not UE


-Faster setup through EPC
--9 QoS classes
- End-to-end, associated with bearers

Policy
Management

- PCRF introduced in 3GPP R7


- Not widely adopted (static policy mgt used)

Network-wide, dynamic
policy charging and control (PCC)

Mobility
Management

- Historically very much aligned (part of) with


RAN

- no RNCs - radio mgt. by eNodeB


- Mobility and session management important
functions of the core

15 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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Example of UMTS QoS mapping to IP (transport perspective)


Mapping UMTS traffic types to IP QoS (DiffServ Code Points)
Conversational
Streaming
Interactive
Background

End-to-end QoS in UMTS

16 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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Flat-IP also implies need for a sound QoS mechanism


Shared radio resource allocation for all users

Dedicated radio resource allocation per user

TDM
TDM

IP

IP
IMS

CS

PS
EPC

2G/R99 3G Access

Shared
resources

PS resources

CS resources

LTE (and HSPA)

By nature, 2G and Rel99 3G legacy network


architecture provides dedicated CS resources
ensuring:

Without QoS control in flat-IP mobile networks,


the end-user would experience (e.g. for
voice/video service):

Low latency (optimized for voice service)

y High latency when cell/network is congested

A guaranteed bit rate for the whole duration of the CS


call (even in case of congestion)

y High voice packet loss when cell/network is congested

Degraded perception for the end-user

QoS control becomes mandatory to offer real-time services (Voice, Video or


Gaming) over flat-IP mobile networks
17 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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LTE QoS terms

Service Data Flow = IP flow


SDFs are mapped to bearers by IP routing elements (gateways)
QoS Class Identifier (QCI)
A scalar that is used as a reference to node specific parameters that control packet forwarding treatment (e.g.,
scheduling weights, admission thresholds, queue management thresholds, link layer protocol configuration, etc.),
and that have been pre-configured by the operator owning the access node

Allocation and Retention Priority (ARP)


The primary purpose or ARP is to decide if a bearer establishment/modification request can be accepted or
rejected in case or resource limitation

Guaranteed Bit Rate (GBR)


Maximum Bit Rate (MBR)
Aggregate Maximum Bit Rate (AMBR) (for non-GBR bearers)

QCI + ARP + GBR + MBR + AMBR


bearers

18 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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LTE QCI (QoS Class Identifier), as defined by 3GPP TS23.203


From: 4 classes in UMTS and CDMA to: 9 classes in LTE
One of LTE standards goals:
backward compatibility with UMTS QoS

Priority

Packet Delay
Budget

Packet Error
Loss
Rate

2
4
3

100 ms
150 ms
50 ms

10
-3
10
-3
10

300 ms

6
7

QCI

1
2
3
4

Resource Type

Guaranteed
Bit Rate
(GBR)

-2

Conversational voice
Conversational video (live streaming)
Real-time gaming

10

-6

Non-conversational video (buffered streaming)

100 ms

10

-6

IMS signalling
Video (buffered streaming)

300 ms

10

-6

TCP-based (e.g., www, e-mail, chat, ftp, p2p file sharing,


progressive video, etc.)

100 ms

10

-3

300 ms

10-6

Voice, video (live streaming), interactive


gaming
Premium bearer for video (buffered
streaming),

300 ms

10-6

Non-GBR
8
9

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Example Services

TCP-based (e.g., www, e-mail, chat, ftp, p2p file sharing,


progressive video, etc) for premium subscribers

Default bearer for video,


TCP-based services, etc. for non-privileged subscribers

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.

EPC bearer management


Data plane needs to support fine-granularity of QoS and charging
enforcement functions beyond transport / bearer level
Uplink (UL) and Downlink (DL) packet filters are defined for each bearer and QoS
enforcements (policing, shaping, scheduling, etc.) are applied
PGW acts as the Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF) point to maintain
QoS / SLA for each of the bearers (and SDFs)

E-UTRAN
UE

EPC
eNodeB

SGW

Internet
PGW

peer

End-to-end service
External
bearer

EPS bearer

20 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

Radio
bearer

S1
bearer

S5/S8
bearer

LTE-Uu

S1

S5/S8

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SGi

EPC elements

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eNodeB (E-UTRAN) (not a part of the EPC), but lets look at


Interactions with other functional elements

USER PLANE (UP)


CONTROL PLANE (CP)

Pool of MMEs
Mobility Management
Bearer handling
Security settings

Pool of SGWs
MME

SGW
MME

SGW

User plane tunnels for


UL and DL data delivery

eNode B

Radio Resource
Management
Mobility management
Bearer handling
User plane data delivery
Securing and optimizing
radio interface delivery

Inter eNodeB handovers


Forwarding of DL data
during handovers

eNode B

UE

User Equipment

22 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

eNode B

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Other eNodeBs

Mobility Management Entity

MME controls how UE interacts with the network via non-access stratum (NAS) signalling
Authenticates UEs and controls access to network connections
Controls attributes of established access (e.g., assignment of network resources)
Maintains EPS Mobility Management (EMM) states for all UEs to support paging, roaming and handover
Manages ECM (EPS Connection Management) states

IP channel

MME
SGW
eNode B

PCRF

Evolved Packet Core

PDN GW

MME is control plane element that manages network access and mobility
23 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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MME:
Interactions with other functional elements

Other MMEs

HSS

USER PLANE (UP)


CONTROL PLANE (CP)

Authentication and Security


Location management
User profiles

SGWs

MME
MME

SGW

Handovers between MMEs


Idle state mobility between MMEs

SGW

Control of user plane tunnels

MME

Inter eNodeB handovers


State transitions
Bearer management
Paging
Pa

User Equipment

eNode B

UE

eNode B

24 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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Other eNodeBs

Serving Gateway and Packet Data Network (PDN) Gateway


SGW is local mobility anchor

PGW is IP anchor for bearers

Terminates (S1-U) interface towards E-UTRAN


Local anchor point for inter-eNB handover and
inter-3GPP mobility
Support ECM-idle mode DL packet buffering
and network-initiated service request
IP routing and forwarding functions

Terminates (SGi) interface towards the PDN


Provides UE IP address management
(allocation)
Provide Policy and Charging Enforcement
Function (PCEF)
Per-SDF based packet filtering
Interface to Online and Offline Charging
Systems

IP channel

MME
SGW
eNode B

eNode B
25 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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PCRF

Evolved Packet Core

PDN GW

SGW:
Interactions with other functional elements
PCRF
MMEs

PCRF

USER PLANE (UP)


CONTROL PLANE (CP)

PMIP S5/S8
IP service flow <-> GTP tunnel
mapping information

PGWs

MME
MME

PGW

Control of GTP tunnels and IP service flows


SGW Mobility control

PGW

GTP S5/S8
Control of GTP tunnels
GTP tunnels for UL and DL
data delivery
y
PMIP
IP service flows
SGW

User Plane tunnels for


DL and UL data delivery
Indirect forwarding of DL data
during handovers (in S1-U)
when direct (X2) inter-eNodeB
connection is not available

eNodeBs

eNode B
eNode B

Other SGWs
SGW

26 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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SGW

PGW:
Interactions with other functional elements

USER PLANE (UP)


CONTROL PLANE (CP)

PCRFs
PCRF

Policy and Charging Control requests


PCC rules

External networks
netw
IP flows of user data

PGW

Control of User Plane tunnels


UP tunnels for UL and DL data
delivery

Online Charging
Systems

Offline Charging
Systems

SGWs
SGW

SGW

27 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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End-to-end protocol stack (User Plane)

MME

IP channel

PCRF

SGW

eNode B

PDN GW

Evolved Packet Core

applications
services

user traffic = end-to-end IP

IP

IP

RELAY

RELAY

PDCP

PDCP

GTP-U

GTP-U

GTP-U

GTP-U

RLC

RLC

UDP/IP

UDP/IP

UDP/IP

UDP/IP

MAC

MAC

L2

L2

L2

L2

L1

L1

L1

L1

L1

L1

S1-U

LTE-Uu

UE

eNodeB

S5/S8

SGW

SGi

PGW

* S5/S8 reference point between S-GW and PDN-GW can also be GTP based

Key role of S-GWs and PDN-GWs = to manage the user plane (bearer traffic)
28 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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PCRF:
Interactions with other functional elements

USER PLANE (UP)


CONTROL PLANE (CP)

AF

External networks
Policy and Charging Control requests

PCRF

Policy and Charging Control requests


PCC rules
QoS rules when S5/S8 is PMIP

SGWs
SGW

SGW

29 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

QoS rules when S5/S8 is PMIP


QoS rules for mapping IP service flows
and GTP tunnel in S1 when S5/S8 is
PMIP

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.

PGWs
PGW

PGW

Policy Charging and Control (PCC) Architecture

SPR

AF

Rx

Sp

PCRF

Gxx

Gx

OCS
Gy

BBERF

PCEF
Gz

SGW

PGW

BBERF = Bearer Binding and Event Reporting Function


OCS = Online Charging System
OFCS = Offline Charging System
PCEF = Policy and Charging Enforcement Function
SPR = Subscription Profile repository
30 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

SDF-based credit control

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OFCS

Service level policy control


Service Data Flow (SDF)
Packet filters
QoS parameter: QCI, Guaranteed bit rate (UL/DL),
Maximum bit rate (UL/DL), Aggregate maximum bit rate
PDN-GW

UE
SDF-1

Default bearer
SDF-2

Dedicated bearer (GBR)

UE-IP1@

SDF-3

UE-IP1@

IP-Connectivity Access Network Session UE-IP1@

The PGW needs to support fine-granularity of QoS and charging enforcement functions
beyond transport / bearer level
Multiple Service Data Flow (SDF) can be aggregated onto a single EPS bearer
Uplink and downlink packet filters are defined for each bearer, and QoS enforcements
are applied
31 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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Core procedures

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EPC: Core functions and service procedures

Core Functions

Core Procedures
Charging

Network attachment

Subscriber management

Service requests (paging, buffering)

Mobility management (new!)

Handovers and (X2 routing)

Bearer management

Roaming (home/visiting PDN breakout)

Policy management (new!)

Interworking with 3GPP ANs


Interworking with non 3GPP ANs
(EVDO/EHRPD treated as a special case)

Interconnection

33 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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Roaming breakout through home PDN


Gx

HSS

PDN
Gateway

SGi

HPLMN
S6a

VPLMN
UTRAN

SGSN
GERAN
S3
S8a

MME
S1-MME

X2

S11

S4

S12

eNode B

E-UTRAN
eNode B

35 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

S1-U

H-PCRF

Serving
Gateway

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Rx

Home Operators IP
Services

Roaming local breakout (through visiting PDN)


Rx

HSS

H-PCRF

Home Operators IP
Services

HPLMN
S6a

VPLMN

S9

UTRAN

SGSN
GERAN
S3

V-PCRF
MME
Gx

S1-MME

X2

S11

S4

S12

eNode B

eUTRAN
E-UTRAN

S1-U

Serving
Gateway

S5

PDN
Gateway

eNode B

36 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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SGi

IP Network

Network attachment and IP address assignment


PCRF
S7c

Always-on IP connection is
established and anchored at
PDN-GW

S7

MME
S1-MME

X2

S11

SGi

eNode B

E-UTRAN

S1-U

Serving
Gateway

S5

PDN
Gateway

eNode B

IPv4
direct

IP

IPv6
shorter

IP address assignment
IPv6

37 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

IP Network

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.

IPv4 via
DHCP
(after)

IPv6 /64
stateless

UE and service requests

PCRF
S7c

1. UE sends NAS
Service Request
message towards MME

S7

2. Update Bearer Request


is sent to the S-GW
to establish/modify
S1-bearer

MME
S1-MME

X2

3. Dedicated bearer
established after
interaction with PCRF

S11

eNode B

E-UTRAN

S1-U

Serving
Gateway

S5

PDN
Gateway

eNode B

38 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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SGi

IP Network

Handover and X2 routing

PCRF
S7c

S7

eNB

eNB

eNB

eNB

X2-AP

X2-AP

GTP-U

GTP-U

SCTP

SCTP

UDP

UDP

IP

IP

IP

IP

L2

L2

L2

L2

L1

L1

L1

L1

MME
S1-MME

X2

X2-C

X2-U

X2 protocol stacks

S11

eNode B

E-UTRAN

S1-U

Serving
Gateway

S5

PDN
Gateway

SGi

IP Network

eNode B

X2 = active mode mobility


- User Plane (UP) ensures lossless mobility
eNode B
39 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

- Control Plane (CP) provides eNB relocation capability


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4a
40 | Technical Sales Forum | May 2008

SMS and legacy voice

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SMS service for initial data-only devices


MSC
GERAN
UTRAN

SMS-C

CS Network

New interface
SGs from MSC to
MME

SGSN

MME

E-UTRAN

PDN
SGW

PGW

Data

eNode B

Paging/SMS

Data and SMS only

Handset uses LTE network where possible to achieve highest throughput


Handset served by an MSC in legacy network for voice and SMS
SMS delivered over SGs without requiring inter-RAT handover

41 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

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Voice support using CS Fallback (CSFB)


New interface
SGs from MSC to
MME

MSC
GERAN
UTRAN

MSC
GERAN
UTRAN

CS Network

SGSN

SGSN
MME

E-UTRAN
TRAN

CS Network

MME

E-UTRAN
TRAN
PDN

eNode B

SGW

PGW

PDN

Data

eNode B

SGW

Paging/SMS

PGW

Circuit Voice
Data

Simultaneous Voice + Data


Handset falls back to legacy circuit coverage for voice
Incoming calls to MSC trigger paging over SGs and delivered via MME

Data sessions handover to SGSN if possible

Tradeoff:
Re-uses legacy circuit infrastructure
But at the cost of Inter-RAT handover per voice call, and reduced capacity (3G) or
suspended (2G) data sessions

42 | Introduction to EPC | July 2010 | v6

2009 Alcatel-Lucent. All rights reserved.