What is the difference between EPC and EPS in LTE?

EPC (Evolved Packet Core) is the core network architecture in LTE responsible for functions like mobility management and session handling, while EPS (Evolved Packet System) encompasses the entire LTE system, including the core network and radio access network, providing end-to-end connectivity for packet-switched data services.

What is the difference between EPC and EPS in LTE?

In LTE (Long-Term Evolution) telecommunications, EPC (Evolved Packet Core) and EPS (Evolved Packet System) are essential components of the network architecture. Let’s delve into the details of the differences between EPC and EPS:

EPC (Evolved Packet Core):

Definition: EPC refers to the core network architecture of LTE. It is responsible for handling data communication between the user equipment (UE) and external networks, such as the internet or other carrier networks.


EPC comprises several functional elements, including the following:

  • Mobility Management Entity (MME): Responsible for tracking the location of UEs and managing mobility aspects.
  • Serving Gateway (S-GW): Routes data packets between the UE and the packet data network gateway (PDN-GW).
  • Packet Data Network Gateway (PDN-GW): Serves as the point of connection between the EPC and external packet data networks.
  • Home Subscriber Server (HSS): Stores user subscription information, authentication data, and mobility management information.
  • Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF): Manages policies for quality of service (QoS) and charging rules for data sessions.

Functionality: EPC is primarily responsible for mobility management, session establishment and release, policy enforcement, and charging. It ensures efficient data routing and QoS management.

EPS (Evolved Packet System):

Definition: EPS refers to the overall system in LTE, which includes both the radio access network (E-UTRAN or Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network) and the core network (EPC). It encompasses all the elements involved in providing packet-switched data services over LTE.

Components: EPS includes not only the EPC components but also the E-UTRAN components, such as eNodeBs (evolved NodeB or base stations) and the air interface protocols.

Functionality: EPS covers the entire LTE system, from the radio access network (E-UTRAN) to the core network (EPC). It provides end-to-end connectivity for data services, including mobility support, efficient radio resource management, and core network functions like session establishment and policy enforcement.

The main difference between EPC and EPS is that EPC specifically refers to the core network components of LTE, while EPS encompasses the entire LTE system, including both the radio access network (E-UTRAN) and the core network (EPC). EPC handles core network functions, while EPS represents the integrated LTE system that enables packet-switched data services.

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