Nokia Siemens Networks has come out with a new small-cell technology that has the flexibility to shift the network's distribution of capacity to areas experiencing high traffic.

The company's Liquid Radio technology distributes the processing usually done at base stations among several different cell sites. Nokia Siemens says this technique, called baseband pooling, allows capacity to be used flexibly where it's needed, since not all cell sites are loaded at all times.

Liquid Radio will help Nokia Siemens compete with a similar small-cell network architecture technology from Alcatel-Lucent, called lightRadio. Like Liquid Radio, Alcatel's lightRadio breaks down the base station into its component parts and distributes them across the network for more efficient and flexible processing of traffic.

Nokia Siemens' new base station for Liquid Radio, the Flexi Multiradio 10, has its radio and baseband separated into different modules so that processing can be distributed throughout the network instead of at a centralized location. Nokia Siemens says the Flexi Multiradio 10 will allow baseband pools of more than 10 Gbps to be shared across 100 cells. The base station and remote radio head supports GSM, WCDMA, LTE and LTE-Advanced.

Liquid Radio's miniaturized base station and remote radio head are designed to handle small-cell network architecture that uses microcells, picocells and femtocells, as well as Wi-Fi hot spots, which have become an increasingly popular means of offloading network traffic.

Nokia Siemens said all the network elements needed for Liquid Radio "are in place already or will be available soon."