FortiCarrier Introduction


GTPv1-U is defined in 3GPP TS 29.281 and refers to the user layer of the GPRS Tunneling network. This part of the protocol deals with user related traffic, user tunnels, and user administration issues.

A GTPv1-U tunnel is identified by a TEID, an IP address, and a UDP port number. This information uniquely identifies the limb of a GTPv1 PDP context. The IP address and the UDP port number define a UDP/IP path, a connectionless path between two endpoints (i.e. SGSN or GGSN). The TEID identifies the tunnel endpoint in the receiving GTPv1-U protocol entity; it allows for the multiplexing and demultiplexing of GTP tunnels on a UDP/IP path between a given GSN-GSN pair. For more information on GTPv1-U, see GTP-U messages.

The GTP core network consists of one or more SGSNs and GGSNs.


The Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) connects the GPRS network on one side via the SGSN to outside networks such as the Internet. These outside networks are called packet data networks (PDNs). The GGSN acts as an edge router between the two different networks — the GGSN forwards incoming packets from the external PDN to the addressed SGSN and the GGSN also forwards outgoing packets to the external PDN. the GGSN also converts the packets from the GPRS packets with SGSN to the external packets, such as IP or X.25.


The Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) connects the GPRS network to GTPv1 compatible mobile stations, and mobile units (such as UTRAN and ETRAN) on one side and to the gateway node (GGSN), which leads to external networks, on the other side. Each SGSN has a geographical area, and mobile phones in that area connect to the GPRS network through this SGSN. The SGSN also maintains a location register that contains customer’s location and user profiles until they connect through a different SGSN at which time the customer information is moved to the new SGSN. This information is used for packet routing and transfer, mobility management also known as location management, logical link management, and authentication and billing functions.


GTPv2, defined in 3GPP TS 29.274, is dramatically differnet from GTPv1, defined in 3GPP TS 29.060. Where in

GTPv1 the tunnel is between the SGSN and the GGSN, in GTPv2 The SGSN is between the MME and the LTE Serving Gateway (S-GW), beyond which is the PDN gateway (P-GW). Even tunnel management messages have changed significantly.

Network diagram for GTPv2

Device roles on a GTPv2 network

Device role Neighboring Devices Interfaces used Protocols used
Mobile Users Mobile Stations (MS) Radio Access

Technology (RAT)

Device role Neighboring Devices Interfaces used Protocols used
GTPv1 Mobile Stations (MS) Mobile Users, SGSN Gb IP, Frame Relay
GTPv2 Mobile Stations (MS) Mobile Users, MME ??? IP, Frame Relay
SGSN (local) GTPv1 MS, SGSN, S-GW ??? IP, Frame Relay, GTPv1, GTP’
P-GW S-GW, Internet, other external services ??? IP, GTPv2


GTPv2-C is the control layer messaging for GTPv2. It is used by LTE mobile stations, SGSN units for backwards compatibility, and SGWs that are the gateway to other networks. The messaging is very different from GTPv1. GTPv2-C is required to communicate with the Mobility Management Entity (MME) to create, change and delete EPS bearers when handover events happen, and to create Forwarding tunnels. The protocol is also used to communicate with the Serving Gateway (SGW) which has the S-GW and PDN-GW interfaces, and the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN).


MME essentially fills the role of the SGSN in a GTPv1 network — it is how the mobile stations gain access to the

Carrier network. GTPv2 supports different mobile stations than GTPv1, so MME handles the GTPv2 MSes and SGSN handles the GTPv1 MSes

Billing and records

A major part of the GPRS network is devoted to billing. Customer billing requires enough information to identify the customer, and then billing specific information such as connection locations and times, as well as amount of data transferred. A modified form of GTP called GTP’ is used for billing. The home location records and visitor location records store information about customers that is critical to billing.

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