Packet Core (PC) is the IP based core network defined by 3GPP in release 8 (Q1 2009) for use by LTE and other access technologies. PC provides mobile core functionality that, in previous mobile generations (2G, 3G), has been realized through two separate subdomains: circuit-switched (CS) for voice and packet-switched (PS) for data. The goal of PC is to provide a simplified, all IP core network architecture to efficiently provide advanced real-time and media-rich services with enhanced quality of experience.
EPC radically changes key networking paradigms from previous generations of mobile core networks. The introduction of the EPC and all-IP network architecture in the mobile network has profound implications on the following:
- Mobile services, as all voice, data and video communications are built on the IP protocol
- Interworking of the new mobile architecture with previous mobile generations (2G/3G)
- Scalability required by each of the core elements to address dynamic and dramatic increases in the number of direct connections, bandwidth, and handset/device mobility
- Reliability and availability delivered by each element to ensure service continuity
PC is defined in 3GPP release 8 as consisting of the following subcomponents:
- Serving Gateway (SGW)
- Packet Data Network (PDN) Gateway (PGW)
- Mobility Management Entity (MME)
- Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF)
ACG Research provides business and technology analysis, worldwide and regional forecasts, market share, and vendor based research quarterly on PC segment. The service includes analysis of global LTE EPC mobile network deployments, quarterly highlights and trends, as well as comparison of Mobile Packet Core segment as the technology shift from 3G to 4G occurs globally and regionally.