Mobile network infrastructure partners Nokia Networks and Intel have opened an innovation center in Bath, UK, to enable communications service providers, network operators and applications developers the opportunity to test the vendors' Liquid Applications platform. (See Nokia Networks, Intel Open Apps Innovation Center.)
Nokia Networks (when it was NSN) and Intel first unveiled Liquid Applications -- an Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) server-based platform that performs local processing, video and data storage and access to real-time radio and network information from the basestation where the server is collocated -- in February 2013 at Mobile World Congress. (See NSN: Understanding Liquid Applications.)
Since then the platform has been tested by a number of operators and deployed by Zain KSA (Zain Saudi Arabia) , while the partners have cemented their relationship. (See Zain KSA Modernizes With Nokia Networks , SK Telecom Completes Liquid Applications Proof-of-Concept and NSN & Intel Get Edgy.)
Now they're inviting further operator traction, starting with the UK's largest mobile operator and 4G LTE market leader EE , which has more than 30 million customers, including 4.2 million 4G users (at the end of June).
What will be of particular interest to EE is the potential to deliver applications to customer devices more quickly and efficiently from what is essentially a distributed cloud architecture -- each Liquid Applications server located at a basestation site is in essence an extension of the data center. This could improve customer experience metrics and potentially relieve the strain on the operator's backhaul network, especially if video content is stored and delivered locally.
With a growing 4G customer base, EE probably needs such capabilities more than its rival UK service providers but soon they will all need to explore such optimization options.
Intel, meanwhile, is making its presence felt further in the telecom infrastructure sector with this development: The chip giant looks set to benefit enormously from the evolution towards server-based architectures as cloud architectures, virtualization and the Internet of Things (IoT) take a firm grip on telco strategies. (See Intel ARMs Itself for IoT, SDN Opportunities, Telefónica Building NFV Reference Platform With Red Hat & Intel, Citrix Architect Heading for NFV Role at Intel.)
News of the innovation center is part of a series of announcements from Nokia Networks in the build up to Super Mobility Week in Las Vegas next week. (See Nokia Networks, China Telecom Boast FDD-TDD Carrier Aggregation, Nokia Networks Boosts RAN Capacity, Upgrades Liquid Radio and Nokia Networks Boasts CEM Advance.)
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading