Following its announcement earlier this year of a new base-station architecture called Liquid Radio, Nokia Siemens Networks has introduced a network architecture concept--called Liquid Net--designed to turn a traditional mobile network into software-driven network capable of self adapting to network loads.
"There are pools of capacity in carrier networks today as networks are built to accommodate peak loads," Chris Ebert, NSN's director of network systems strategy product marketing, told FierceBroadbandWireless. "We're going beyond Liquid Radio to think about the challenges of unfreezing capacity across the radio, core and transport level and having the network understand the traffic that is moving across it."
The idea is to create software-defined applications that run on multi-purpose hardware rather than conventional networks with dedicated software and hardware stacks. Liquid Net software runs on processes, which enables the use of multi-purpose, shared hardware. That means processing capacity can be pooled and re-allocated based on the application and location.
For instance, on the radio side, baseband capacity can be pulled away from a particular cell site and used at another site. In the core, that means processing can be shared across browsing, VoIP and packet core functionalities.
Ebert said many of the components of Liquid Net are already available today via its existing Liquid Radio, core and transport businesses, but new elements will be introduced in the future.
In February, NSN introduced its Liquid Radio base stations that uses distributed antennae and virtualized baseband processing to provide a highly distributed architecture built around small cells and miniature base-station designs. Ebert said the active antenna is in the ground and is poised to be rolled out by a major European operator this year.
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