Monday, September 19, 2011

NSN Outlines "Liquid Net" for Fluid Capacity Network Dynamics

Nokia Siemens Networks outlined its "Liquid Net" vision for transforming radio, core and transport networks to fluidly adapt to fluctuating traffic demands. The goal of Liquid Net is to make new and existing carrier networks more self-aware and self-adapting, thereby unleashing frozen network capacity and directing it to where it is needed. The interlinked architecture calls for the use of software defined, multipurpose hardware and builds on the principles of the Liquid Radio architecture that was introduced by Nokia Siemens Networks earlier this year.

Liquid Net encompasses three domains:

Liquid Radio -- dynamically directing mobile broadband capacity to where it is needed most. It comprises three key elements: Baseband pooling for centralizing the processing requirement for dozens or even a hundred cells using smart scheduling algorithms; Active Antennas that integrate various radio frequency components into the antenna housing to enable advanced beamforming, allowing up to 65% capacity gain; and Unified Heterogeneous Networks, which offer automated management, seamless interworking and Quality of Experience across layers, cell sizes, and radio access technologies.

Liquid Core -- enables virtualization across the enhanced packet core (circuit-switched, packet-switched and IP Multimedia Subsystem), including elements such as the MSS, MGCF, CSCF and GGSN. Virtualization decouples the hardware from the software, freeing packet core functionality that previously required a separate network appliance and allowing it to now run on off-the-shelf ATCA hardware in a cloud-scalable manner. In addition, the Liquid Core ensures end-to-end Quality of service for content delivery by applying CDN caching, adaptation and optimization techniques.

Liquid Transport -- delivers the benefits of packet + optical layer integration. NSN is leveraging several innovations, including software configurable WDM optics, OTN for sub-lambda grooming and switching, and next generation optical access technologies. It is also putting in place an intelligent control plane using MPLS-TP and GMPLS.

Nokia Siemens Networks said its strategy is to continue to work in a multi-vendor approach with strategic partners.

Liquid Net's dynamic resource adaptation promises substantial capital and operational efficiencies. The company calculates that a truly "Liquid" resource allocation can unleash up to 80% of unused baseband capacity in the RAN and up to 65% capacity gain in individual cells; up to 80% footprint reduction in the packet core with 65% lower energy consumption; and up to 60% total cost reduction for the transport backbone.

"Capacity in today's conventional networks is typically frozen in separate places; at individual base station sites, in parts of the core network that manage voice and data services, or in the optical and IP transport networks," said Marc Rouanne, head of Network Systems at Nokia Siemens Networks. "Each is a potential bottleneck to someone getting the broadband service they want at a particular moment. Fluctuating, unpredictable demand in one part of the network means huge chunks of capacity can be left idle elsewhere, making poor use of existing investments. For example, as much as 50% of a conventional core network's capacity can be dormant. Instead, Liquid Net unleashes frozen network capacity into a reservoir of resources that can flow to fulfill unpredictable demand, wherever and whenever people use broadband."

  • In March 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks unveiled its new "Liquid Radio" mobile network architecture for dynamically directing mobile broadband capacity to where it is needed most. Baseband pooling is at the heart of the approach.

    Liquid Radio promises a more economic use of network resources through sharing and redistributing capacity based on user demand. Nokia Siemens Networks said its baseband pooling approach centralizes the resources needed to undertake processing functions common to every base station in a given area. Baseband pooling helps to achieve a more cost efficient sharing of resources over a large geographical area.

    Liquid Radio architecture comprises three key elements:

    Baseband pooling achieved via Nokia Siemens Networks‘ recently launched Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station enables centralized pools of over 10 Gbps baseband capacity to manage up to 100 cells dynamically via smart scheduling algorithms.

    A new Flexi Multiradio Antenna System that provides true active antennas and complements the company's Flexi Multiradio Base Station family. The Flexi Multiradio Antenna System is based on several distributed radio frequency components integrated in the antenna housing to genuinely cooperate as a single entity to enable advanced features like beamforming. Beamforming provides additional capacity exactly where it is needed, allowing up to 65% capacity gain. Commercial availability is expected at the end of 2011.

  • Unified heterogeneous networks enable various network layers to be used as a logically unified network with automated management, seamless interworking and uncompromised quality of experience to the user. As modern mobile networks continue to carry most of the traffic for mobile broadband in the future, they are getting more complex with several bands and mobile technologies (like LTE, HSPA+, Long Term HSPA Evolution) and the use of smaller cells like micro, pico and femtocells. Also, alternative technologies like 802.1x WiFi are increasingly being used for mobile broadband capacity enhancement as well as the more traditional in-building coverage.
  • In February 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks unveiled its "Single RAN Advanced" architecture for supporting the full range of air interface technologies from GSM up through LTE-Advanced using software defined radios.

    Key components of Single RAN Advanced include a new highly powerful, compact and scalable Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. This base station will be 10 Gbps capable for high capacity cell sites. Single RAN Advanced also includes the Flexi Lite Base Station for micro and pico deployments, which are ideal for providing hotspot coverage in high traffic areas, and a Multicontroller platform for GSM and 3G.

    Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Base Station will also have the capability to reallocate radio frequencies for maximum efficiency. The 4.2 MHz technology can rapidly refarm HSPA to lower frequencies with less spectrum required. It also offers spectral efficiency features like Orthogonal Sub Channel in GSM.

    Flexi BTS will also come with integrated IP transport interfaces. Flexi BTS will also feature a modular design and the ability to deployed outdoors, eliminating the need for shelter or huts with air conditioning.