With Long Term Evolution (LTE) comes a new radio platform technology to mobile radio access networks that will revolutionize mobile broadband usage, allowing mobile operators to achieve even higher peak throughputs than HSPA+ in higher spectrum bandwidth. Work on LTE began at 3GPP in 2004, with an official LTE work item started in 2006 and a completed 3GPP Release 8 specification in March 2009.
LTE promises higher data speeds to mobile users, but it also includes an evolution of core mobile networks from circuit-switched to packet-switched technologies. This results in an overall simplification of the entire mobile network topology as seen in Figure 1. In this environment the mobile network is an all IP network that includes a
re-tooling of radio access (LTE) and core network (Evolved Packet Core-EPC) elements into a more simplified network topology (sometime referred to as Service Architecture Evolution-SAE) that facilitates intra and inter network connectivity while significantly decreasing CapEx, OpEx, and NetEx for the mobile operator.