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NSN: Understanding Liquid Applications

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
2/24/2013
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BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2013 -- Nokia Siemens Networks is claiming that its new Liquid Applications launch is going to revolutionize the base station. So, what actually is going on with this latest in the liquid line?

The basis of the Liquid Applications concept is the company's new Radio Applications Cloud Server (RACS) on NSN base stations. This enables localized processing: up to 400GB of storage and access to real-time radio and network information from the base station.

We've seen localized video caching concepts from the likes of Samsung Corp. NSN's Robert McManus, a Liquid Applications product market manager, says that the radio aspects help to make this different.

NSN is exposing a couple of data points from the base station to start, he says, and plans to work with many more. "It's the first steps," he says.

Initially, apps will get to see the radio link quality data and cell ID information from the base station. This means that locally cached video can be optimized for the best connection and search engines can return data based on the cell site location.

"A lot of information is in there now," McManus says of the radio data on the base station. "As we move forward we would hope that we can break out more complex information."

For instance, he says, NSN is showing off a billboard demo around Liquid Applications on its booth that will change ads to suit the gender when either more men or more women are in range of the base station. McManus's concept is that, in the future, you could walk into a shopping mall and the electronic billboard will tailor its ad message specifically for you, thanks to this kind of data.

He also thinks that app providers and over-the-top video players could be persuaded to pay carriers a little something extra to cache relevant local content at base stations so that it would get delivered faster to users.

As so often happens, the South Koreans could be amongst the first to check out this latest wave of hyper-local wireless refinement. SK Telecom says it will start evaluating the RACS technology behind all this in the first half of 2013.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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