Mobile offload could affect EPC design

Tom Nolle/CIMI Corp.
01 Mar 2011
As an option, many equipment vendors support a combination of integrated SGW/PGW at the radio access network (RAN) edge for offload, combined with a separate PGW at the service edge to create a true Evolved Packet Core and EPC-based management for premium traffic.
The specific decision on how the premium mobile traffic should be handled will likely depend on a number of factors, including the operator’s 3G migration strategy, existing management and QoS options in the metro network for wireline services, and even enterprise service offerings that require premium handling.
In addition to technical mobile backhaul decisions, global issues with net neutrality and country-by-country differences in how wireless and wireline Internet traffic are treated for regulatory or commercial reasons are making some deep packet inspection (DPI) concepts applicable to wireless Internet traffic.
A logical place to use DPI is in the PGW function that forms the 4G network offload point, whether it’s integrated with the SGW or not. The use of DPI in the PGW can help an operator manage bandwidth to control heavy users, where permitted, by better analyzing traffic.
The use of DPI can also offer premium handling for Internet services, where permitted, without requiring that some services be carried by the Evolved Packet Core while others must be offloaded.
The most important consideration in any 4G network offload strategy is to have maximum flexibility to accommodate the shifting relationships between business goals and regulation as new Internet applications and wireless devices drive change in the market.
Tom Nolle is president of CIMI Corp
This article originally appeared on


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