Home > Technical Articles > Control and User plane separation for NG-EPC (Next Generation Evolved Packet Core)
It refers to the complete separation between control plane functions and user plane functions. Control plane functions include user connection management as well as defining QoS policies, performing user authentication, etc. user plane functions include traffic forwarding, etc. The main motivation for CUPS is to make user plane functions scale independently, allowing operators for more flexible deployment and dimensioning of the network. If data traffic increases, more data plane nodes can be added without affecting the control plane functions.
CUPS also enables user plane programmability which means having a set of data plane nodes that can be selected and treated for a particular node to perform forwarding, encapsulation, traffic steering, or whatever else is needed according to the indications received by the control plane elements. A further possibility is to use the control/user plane functions split by introducing a Network Controller (NC) in the middle. Introducing a Network Controller in the mobile core architecture allows obtaining a three-tier architecture, which can be easily mapped to the software-defined networking (SDN) paradigm. SDN is composed of an Infrastructure layer, a controller layer, an Application layer. If introduced in the 5GC, the Application layer can be mapped to the control plane and the infrastructure layer to the user plane nodes.
CUPS for NG-EPC materializes scaling of the control plane and user plane independent of one another and promotes a cost-effective approach to core telecom architecture which is the network for 5G technology. It provides an adaptable and adjustable network deployment option where enhancement of control plane and user plane functionality is possible.