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LTE-M Architecture | LTE-M user and control plane architecture

This page mentions LTE-M Architecture basics.Both user plane and control plane are described in this LTE-M architecture.

LTE-M follows 3GPP specifications similar to LTE technology. LTE-M stands for Long Term Evolution for Machine-Type Communications. It is mainly developed to fulfill cellular IoT device objectives such as low device cost, deep coverage, longer battery life, higher cell capacity and so on. There are different categories of LTE-M devices viz. Cat-0, Cat-M1 and Cat-M2 as per different 3GPP releases. LTE-M Cat-0, Cat-M1 and Cat-M2 follow 3GPP TS 36 series of rel.12, rel.13 and rel.14 respectively. Let us understand LTE-M architecture components.

LTE tutorial -LTE SAE

As shown in the figure LTE SAE(System Architecture Evolution) consists UE, eNodeB and EPC(evolved packet core). Various interfaces are designed between these entities which include Uu between UE and eNodeB, X2 between two eNodeB, S1 between EPC and eNodeB. eNodeB has functionalities of both RNC and NodeB as per previous UMTS architecture.LTE is completely IP based network.
The basic architecture contains the following network elements.
1. LTE EUTRAN (Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio)
2. LTE Evolved Packet Core.
Refer LTE System Architecture >> for more information.

LTE-M Architecture

LTE-M Architecture

The figure depicts LTE-M architecture in roaming scenario. Both user plane and control plane are shown which are used for transport of data and control informations. There are two main Network Attach options to support connectivity: 1. Attach with Packet Data Network (PDN) connection
2. Attach without PDN connection : It is added in 3GPP Release-13 to allow UEs offering CIoT (Cellular Internet of Things) optimisations to remain attached without PDN connection.

There are different data connectivity options for PDN connections available to IoT devices using the EPS.
• IP over Control Plane
• IP over User Plane
• Non-IP over Control Plane
• Non-IP over User Plane

NB-IoT Related Stuff


This tutorial section on LTE basics covers following sub topics:
LTE tutorial  LTE-M tutorial  LTE features  LTE terminologies  Frame  TDD FDD  Channel types  PHY  stack  throughput  CA   cell search  network entry  Timers  PSS vs SSS  Security   LTE Bands  EARFCN  Hotspot  router  What is VoLTE  VoLTE originating call flow  VoLTE UE attach and registration procedure 

Difference between LTE Advanced vs LTE Advanced Pro vs 5G Links

Article on LTE Advanced>>   LTE-a vs LTE-a Pro>>   5G vs LTE Advanced Pro>>  

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