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Evolved Packet Core (EPC)

Definition - What does Evolved Packet Core (EPC) mean?

Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is a framework standardized in Release 8 of the 3GPP for giving data and converged voice on a network based on 4G LTE. Evolved Packet Core is based on a constant network connection or an always-on connection. Evolved Packet Core helps in combining voice and data on an Internet Protocol service architecture. This helps service operators in operations as well as deploying one packet network for 2G, 3G, LTE, WLAN or fixed access such as cable or DSL.

Techopedia explains Evolved Packet Core (EPC)

Evolved Packet Core is considered the key component of the Service Architecture Evolution. The key constituents of Evolved Packet Core are:

  • Mobility Management Entity – Helps in authenticating and tracking users in the network as well as managing session states
  • Serving Gateway – Helps in routing data packets across the network
  • Packet Data Node Gateway – Helps in managing quality of service provided and also in deep packet inspection
  • Policy and Charging Rules Function – Helps in policy enforcement and in supporting service data flow detection

Evolved Packet Core helps in integrating networks by combining the different transfer modes such as synchronous transfer mode and asynchronous transfer mode in the existing systems. It is a high performance and high capacity network. With the help of an IP-based structure, Evolved Packet Core can construct all possible networks for simplification. This helps in enabling simultaneous connection to more than one packet network and also helps service operators to provide more valued-added services such as voice over IP calls. It is instrumental in promoting new innovative services, the enabling of new applications and even in the introduction of new business models. Another advantage associated with evolved packet core is in the improvement of network performance with the help of Flat Internet Protocol architecture. This also helps in reducing the hierarchy between the different mobile data elements.

Across an LTE network, Evolved Packet Core is a required component for end-to-end Internet Protocol service delivery.

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