At the end of 2004 the third generation partnership project (3GPP) Standardisation Forum started to evaluate a new radio technology as a successor for wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA). This work was called long term evolution (LTE) and is nowadays the radio interface name used in most official publications. Inside 3GPP the newly developed radio access network is called the evolved UMTS terrestrial radio access network (E-UTRAN) to indicate the path from the global system for mobile communications (GSM)/Enhanced data rates for global evolution (EDGE) radio access network (GERAN) via the GSM/general packet radio service (GPRS)/EDGE to UTRAN [WCDMA/high-speed packet access (HSPA)] and finally to E-UTRAN (LTE). In parallel to the work on a new radio interface 3GPP initiated a study to evolve the 2G/3G packet core network (known as the GPRS core) in order to cope with the new demands of LTE. This core network study was called system architecture evolution (SAE) and it was documented in the 3GPP technical report (3GPP TR 23.882). The final outcome of this work was a new packet core design in Release 8 documented in (3GPP TS 23.401) and (3GPP TS 23.402), called the evolved packet core (EPC). 3GPP Release 8 was officially completed in March 2009 and the world's first commercial LTE network was opened in December 2009 by TeliaSonera.
3GPP Release 8 introduces major advances in mobile networks. For the subscriber, it means higher access rates and lower ...