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In order for third-generation partnership project (3GPP) networks to cope with the rapid growth of IP data traffic, the location management requires further enhancement to accommodate the burst data traffic characteristics of packet switched (PS) services. The universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS) location management solutions for PS services in 3GPP networks has been investigated, and an inactivity counter mechanism in PS domain to reduce the location management cost of inactivate users has been proposed. An analytical model accommodating diverse call and mobility characteristics of user equipment to evaluate the performance of the inactivity counter mechanism has also been developed. Using the proposed model, the performance of the inactivity counter mechanism in UMTS terrestrial radio access network recommended by 3GPP is investigated, the cost reduction obtained by the proposed mechanism when compared with the original location strategy used in the PS domain is then analysed, which also shows the effect of system parameters and users' mobility and service patterns on the location management costs.