3GPP evolved packet core- the mass wireless broadband all-IP architecture
Driven by the roll-out of new wireless access technologies providing only packet transport capabilities like the 3GPP Long Term Evolution, the Next Generation Mobile Broadband Networks are bound to support wireless broadband com-munication in a data dominant environment. In order to respond to the requirements of the new environment, 3rd Generation Partnership Project defined the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) as a new IP connectivity control platform enabling wireless access network diversity (including LTE, UMTS, WiMAX, WiFi etc.) and offering seamless connectivity for the various service platforms. It maintains the same central concepts as previous 3GPP architectures, like IMS: policy based QoS and charging, subscription based access control, handover support and security, limiting its goa ls to offering the connectivity without direct binding to the services themselves. This paper presents the main concepts driving the evolution of the mass wireless broadband networks concentrating on the 3GPP EPC architecture with its key components, capabilities and interactions revealing the opportunities and challenges brought for the applications in the new environment.