The Evolved Packet System (EPS) is one of the most transformative technologies developed within my lifetime. It was in response to, but also enabled, the rise of internet-first mobile devices. Today, it forms the basis of the next generation of innovations like self-driving cars. This presentation provides a brief overview of the EPS, as well as how EPS shows us how to design solid protocols.

Key Take Aways

  • Protocols are difficult to design, but it is critical that people take time to develop them peroperly
  • Standardization between products is good for customer experience, especially with roaming
  • When possible, user needs and future adoption should be central to protocol development
  • Protocols should be invisible to the user


Olsson, M., Rommer, S., Mulligan, C., Sultana, S., & Frid, L. (2009). SAE and the Evolved Packet Core. Academia Press.


This presentation and page are subject to the disclaimers at


  • At 5:31, I make a comment that vehicles in China connect to Cisco networks. I have not verified that any Chinese manufacturers connect to the Cisco Packet Core. I regret this error immensely.
  • At 27:54, the slide says 2022 but I say 2021. 2022 is the correct date.