NSN, Intel collaborate on Liquid Apps; intelligent base stations

Hardware manufacturers Nokia Siemens Networks and Intel are to collaborate on common objectives around NSN’s Liquid Applications initiative, to help operators develop new revenue and differentiation opportunities.

Liquid Applications, unveiled in February at MWC in partnership with IBM, focuses on moving intelligence to the network edge on Monday with a computing platform designed to run applications within the mobile base station. The concept is designed to take some of the strain off the network and speed the delivery and localisation of services. Lower latency presence-based services enabled by the platform might be gaming, augmented reality or location specific information such as traffic updates.

The latest deal between NSN and Intel accelerates the delivery of media-rich services and content directly from the base station, exploring new business models between mobile operators and other ecosystem players, such as OTT content providers, independent software vendors (ISV) and application service providers (ASP).

“Placing applications and services in the base station will turn the base station into an intelligent part of a mobile operator’s network, to serve and deliver local content. Other content providers in the ecosystem can also benefit from the proximity of applications to mobile users”, said Dirk Lindemeier, head of Liquid Net at Nokia Siemens Networks. “

At the heart of Liquid Applications is the Radio Applications Cloud Server (RACS), which provides capabilities such as localized processing, content storage, and access to real-time radio and network information inside the base station. RACS uses Intel’s Crystal Forest Platform, which was specifically developed for the communications infrastructure market and is powered by low-power Intel Xeon processors.

NSN’s Liquid Applications portfolio also provides a foundation built on by IBM’s experience in big data driven analytics to deliver an offering with relevance beyond the telco sector. The example used in the initial announcement describes how IBM technology can analyse data collected by the network to estimate how many people are moving through a city, by which mode of transport and location, allowing city planners to optimise the transport network.

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