GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP)

Last week we wrote generally about tunneling protocols. This week we will write about a very specific tunneling protocol to give readers a better sense of how such protocols are developed and used.

GTP is used exclusively in mobile networks and is maintained by the same entity (3GPP) that defines all mobile standards. It came to life during the 2.5G days in the late 90s when a technology known as General Packet Radio Services or GPRS was defined for data communication over a mobile network. The standard has evolved and is used in both 4G LTE and emerging 5G networks.

GTP is an IP-in-IP tunneling protocol in the sense that an original IP packet created by a mobile device such as a phone or tablet – for example, to access – is sent into a mobile network core. This original IP packet must be delivered unadulterated to the Internet, however there are various interactions within the mobile network core itself that are required to successfully deliver the packet. These interactions include procedures such as cell handover, QoS, billing, network routing and more. In order to seamlessly accomplish these actions, the mobile network embeds or tunnels the original IP packet inside another IP (using UDP) packet that uses local addressing and a well-defined tunnel endpoint identifier (TEID) to track the specific phone or tablet that originated the message.

There are many tunneling protocols in existence today, but GTP is very prominent amongst them because it is used in the heart of the mobile networks that we all take advantage of on a daily basis.

Host CPU Offload Product Features Summary
wdt_ID Speed 1G 10G 10G 10G 10G/40G 10G/40G 100G 100G 100G 100G
1 Model ANIC-4Ku ANIC-20Ku ANIC-40Ku ANIC-40Kq ANIC-80Ku ATLAS-1000
ANIC-100Kq ANIC-200Ku ANIC-200K
2 Port/Type 4 X 1G SFP 2 X 10GSFP+ 4 X 10GSFP+ 1 X 40G4
2 X
40G8 X
2 X
1 X
2 X
2 X
40G2 X
2 X
3 PCIe Interface Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16
4 Dimensions
(H x L inches)
4.25 x 6.5   4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 1.75 x12.28x14 4.25 x 10.5 4.25 x 10.5 4.25 x 6.5 4.25 x 10.5
5 Memory 32MB 4G 4G 4G 4G 16/32G 12G 12G 8G 12G
6 Timestamp 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 4 nS 4 nS 4 nS 4 nS
7 100% Packet
8 Gigamon, Arista
9 Packet Merging
10 Packet Parsing

About Accolade

Accolade is the technology leader in FPGA-based Host CPU Offload and 100% Packet Capture PCIe NIC’s and Scalable 1U Platforms. Accolade’s line of 1-100GE products enable 100% packet capture, flow classification, flow shunting, deduplication, packet filtering and more. Our customers are global leaders in network monitoring & cybersecurity applications as well as in the network test and measurement, telecom and video stream monitoring markets.

FPGA Acceleration Features

100% Packet Capture | Flow Classification | Flow Shunting | Precise Time Stamping | Packet Merging | Packet Slicing | Packet Parsing | Packet Filtering | Deduplication | Host Packet Buffer | Packet Steering | Direct Memory Access (DMA) | Statistics (RMON1)

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