NSN turns base stations into cloud servers

John C. Tanner
25 Feb 2013

Nokia Siemens Networks announced on Sunday a new mobile edge computing platform that enables mobile base stations to host and run apps, and serve as local analytics engines to leverage real-time network and user data.

At a press/analyst briefing in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2013, NSN chief executive Rajeev Suri unveiled Liquid Applications, the latest addition to the company’s Liquid Network framework.

At the heart of Liquid Applications is the new Radio Applications Cloud Server (RACS), which is integrated with NSN’s Flexi BTS and leverages IBM’s WebSphere Application Service Platform for Networks (ASPN) platform to provide a “standards-based cloud runtime environment” that enables “localized processing, content storage, and access to real-time radio and network information in the base station”.

“Think of this as an internet cloud server that’s really close to the customer,” said Suri. “Caching content locally is nothing new in itself, but we're taking it a step further – right into the base station, and enhancing it with real-time radio network and end user information. When you have that, you can offer services that are personal, relevant and local.”

Suri said Liquid Apps also opens up opportunities for cellcos to cooperate with OTT players and application developers, and beef up location-based services in ways that are “more sophisticated than finding the closest Starbucks”.

For example, he said, “Operators could host content locally on the base station and provide service-level guarantees for priority content such as video streaming of a live concert.”

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