This blog is by Sandro Tavares, Head of Marketing for Mobile Core at Nokia Solutions and Networks.
As a Brazilian living in America, I’m always happy when my business travels take me to Latin America. On a recent trip to the region, I was struck by the potential offered by our new solution—Liquid Applications—and the benefits this technology offers to help foster economic development in these areas. One of the biggest challenges in some Latin American countries is access to telecommunications and connectivity. This affects not only the traditional consumer applications we might initially think of, but also has a big impact on more essential staples like public services and even education in these regions. Without these important services, the development of a society is thwarted, which negatively impacts the economy.
So where does Liquid Applications enter into this discussion, and why do I see potential? For starters, Liquid Applications is all about bringing additional intelligence to the edge of mobile networks. We utilize this intelligence to distribute content more effectively and host applications closer to the subscriber. In a scenario where connectivity is an issue, and most users do not have an efficient Internet connection, bringing computing capacity closer to the end user will directly compensate for any challenges a limited infrastructure presents.
Technically speaking, round trip times are often more significant in terms of performance than actual bandwidth, so if content is placed in close proximity to the mobile subscriber, the time taken to access the content is massively reduced. To actually quantify this, a typical round trip time to Google is over 100ms. If content is accessed from the base station, the round trip time is only that of the air interface between the device and the base station, and on LTE, this will be sub-20ms.
Connectivity is key
But let’s get practical and consider real-life applications to see what Liquid Applications can do to foster economic development in rural areas in South America.
Nowadays, small isolated villages and communities in the Rainforest still have extremely limited connectivity options. Their connection with the rest of the world, if any, consists of a satellite link installed at city hall or public school. There is no wired Internet, no fiber…nothing. Distributing content to schools or even government applications poses a significant challenge in such a harsh connectivity environment. Liquid Applications, however, fits very well within these constraints. To overcome the limitation of a satellite-based backhaul, all educational content can be locally stored at the base station, enabling richer content and thereby dramatically reducing the time to access the content. Going a step further, Liquid Applications can also distribute educational content beyond school walls when students use wireless enabled tablets or smartphones at home, bringing this knowledge and content into home environments.
Other uses such as government documents and content are also a natural fit for Liquid Applications. In fact, every basic domain of public administration in the village, from the population registry to medical records, can be added to Liquid Applications and readily accessed, even over a bandwidth-constrained satellite link.
By overcoming one of the most basic hurdles in developing countries—connectivity—Liquid Applications can help improve the infrastructure in even the most remote areas and can play an important role in supporting sustainable economic development.
In today’s world, information is power, and with Liquid Applications important information just got one step closer to the user in remote areas of the world with limited connectivity options.
NOTE: To find out more about our Liquid Application demos and live application testing via our Smart Labs in Dallas and Seoul, please contact Gerald.Reddig@nokia.com.