Integrated platforms key to collaboration on public safety

Integrated communications platforms can improve collaboration between agencies to create safer cities, says Mohammad Allataifeh, Huawei Middle East

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Integrated platforms key to collaboration on public safety Effective city safety requires multiple agencies to be able to work with multiple sources of data, says Allataifeh.
By  Mohammad Allataifeh Published  April 27, 2017

Cities around the world face a wide and evolving range of risks. From high impact threats such as cybercrime, citizen dissent and terrorism, to increasing low impact scenarios such as petty crime and fraud. Governments today look to smart ICT solutions not only to assist in the protection of life and property, but also to deliver modern governance through electronic services that improve the quality of life for citizens.

It is important then, to recognize that public safety should be viewed from a holistic perspective if an effective, efficient smart city can then be truly established.

Collaboration between various government agencies and public safety stakeholders becomes critical to ensuring a fast, effective and measured response to a potential threat, be it a pre-emptive response to prevent a possible incident or a reactive one in an emergency situation.

The key to providing this level of efficiency in threat mitigation and emergency response services is inter-agency collaboration through improved communication and coordination.

Integrated communications become vital to collaboration

A major challenge facing numerous public safety and law enforcement agencies is the inter-operability or integration of the different technologies, networks and devices each of them use. At the core of any safe city solution is enabling communications — and this is where Huawei has pioneered its Mission Critical based Integrated Communications Platform, or ICP, through extensive research and development and with the benefit of real-world implementation.

Huawei’s ICP platform supports interoperability of different technologies such as eLTE (Huawei Broadband Trunking wireless solution), legacy TETRA and P25 devices (Narrowband voice trunking systems), conventional telephone network (PSTN) and cellular networks (3G/4G). This ensures that all response agencies can utilize the most suitable communications method for their needs while being connected to the larger response community they have to coordinate with.

Such an advanced, integrated platform provides early warning to authorities and enables them to launch a coordinated response to ensure the maximum efficiency and speed of the resources deployed, leading to more lives saved or the significant reduction of the economic impact of a threat.

Visualized command and control

ICP also enables a visualized and unified command centre to be created, allows multiple streams of data, voice and video to be centralized across a single command centre which can coordinate large-scale, mission-critical emergency operations involving numerous agencies and authorities.

Such a system is also ready for the digital age, accepting data from a multitude of sources and channels including automatic sensing devices supporting Internet of Things (IoT and NB-IoT) operability: sensors that provide early warning for all types of detection like fire or heat, public warning devices, social media networks, CBRN threat detection equipment (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear), and radar/electro-optics for border surveillance. In combination with other incoming voice, video and data inputs, all this information can be routed to any response agencies through their preferred devices/equipment as well as enabling the remote and real time expert consultancy through HD Video conferencing during critical situations.

Building safe cities for the future

Middle East governments have been quick to embrace this technology, and continue to demand more solutions that provide continuous enhancement of safe city capabilities. For example, facial-recognition and license plate recognition (LPR) technology are being considered for use at airports, on public roads and in high-traffic areas where identifying persons who pose a public safety threat can be difficult without the use of advanced technology.

Such advanced solutions open a whole new realm of public safety capability, especially when coupled with smart analytics tools and big data.

Another crucial component of Huawei’s safe city solution is its Intelligent HD Video Surveillance Solution, IVS, with automatic early-warning behaviour analysis and the latest H.265 compression techniques that reduce over half of bandwidth needed to transmit high quality video resolution.

The IVS solution includes Huawei high definition IP cameras, a Video Content Management system and a Video Storage Cloud that can ingest video from many sources including those from social media. Video image search allows someone to search, for example, a white vehicle with specific plate number and provide track analysis on GIS map display. Video synopsis helps to ‘summarize’ many hours of video into crucial clips for that speed up the process of human investigation. In a major crime, 3,500 hours of video were collected and video synopsis ‘summarized’ these to just 50 hours, allowing for the case to be solved quickly while lowering storage needs. The Video Content Management also comes with more than 20 intelligent analytics including entity recognition, behaviour, crowd counting and virtual tripwires. The tiered Video Cloud Storage provides cost-efficient archival of video footages, at both remote sites and centralized location.

To build thriving, prosperous safe cities of the future, it is critical that open, collaborative ecosystems continue to lead innovation, ensuring that future solutions can be integrated and operate seamlessly between one platform and the other. This also ensures that integration with new technologies like big data, IoT, analytics and 5G is simplified, and public safety organisations are able to leverage the latest innovations quickly in their effort to save lives.

To build truly open ecosystems, collaboration has to start with the innovators themselves, which is why Huawei works with global ICT players and local partners to jointly develop safe city technologies. Based on a strategy of integrating innovative technologies to deliver ICT-enabled cloud platforms and end to end safe city solutions, Huawei continues to develop alliances with ICT leaders to build an open, cooperative, and mutually beneficial ecosystem.

Huawei’s safe city solutions have been deployed in more than 100 cities in over 30 countries and protect more than 400 million people worldwide. Its goal is to encourage customers to accelerate their digital transformation process to promote social harmony and economic development while maintaining efficient, smart and safe communities.

Mohammad Allataifeh is Director of Public Safety & Safe City, Huawei Middle East.

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