A packet data service node is formed to establish an "always on" connection with a mobile terminal by way of a packet control function card or device with the ability to determine when a mobile terminal no longer requires a previously established point-to-point protocol communication link. More specifically, the PDSN formed according to one embodiment of the present invention, includes an inactivity timer and corresponding logic to prompt it to generate an LCP Echo Request to the mobile terminal after expiration of the inactivity timer. Each time data or control signals are received from the mobile terminal, the inactivity timer is reset. Upon expiration of the timer, the PDSN generates the LCP Echo Request. In one embodiment of the invention, the LCP Echo Request is generated at least once and a total of three times prior to the release of network resources responsive to not receiving an LCP Echo Reply from the mobile terminal, which it should have generated had it received the LCP Echo Request generated by the PDSN. Logic defined by the PDSN and its corresponding method of operation facilitates the release of resources being wasted by a mobile terminal that no longer needs as determined by failure of the mobile terminal to respond with an LCP Echo Reply.

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