Nokia, Huawei and Motorola Solutions tout next-generation public safety systems
Vendors Nokia, Huawei and Motorola Solutions variously talked up next-generation command centres at Critical Communications World (CCW) in Berlin this week. The trio offered multi-media public safety packages that variously make use of ‘internet of things’ (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, and seek to move the sector from voice-based to data-driven emergency response.
Finnish outfit Nokia said its new Advanced Command Centre solution matched the global public safety industry’s move towards standardised 911 and 112 emergency numbers.
The new control system supports incoming video calls, to help command centre users gain a visual understanding of critical situations, and combines video surveillance and data analytics to detect anomalies in video streams.
It also enables control rooms to harness IoT sensors, deployed in smart city initiatives, to track environmental changes, amongst other insights, and alert safety and security agencies in the event of emergencies.
Nokia promised rapid integration of legacy and new systems, allowing agencies to select solutions on technical merit, rather than compatibility credentials, and to add new capabilities quickly and keep networking architecture simple.
Nokia said control rooms can be networked in such a way that emergency call workloads are balanced automatically between virtual emergency response centres, to suit the availability of control rooms.
Asad Rizvi, head of Nokia’s global services portfolio, said: “Today’s increasingly complex public safety situations call for new approaches that are built on integration and automation and are constantly evolving.
“Our Advanced Command Centre optimises resource allocation and allows for efficient multi-agency alignment, collaboration and joint coordination for police, health and fire services, as they can better prepare for events and better manage their response efforts.”
Meanwhile, Chinese vendor Huawei proclaimed the public-safety multimedia capabilities of its own eLTE Multimedia Critical Communications System (eLTE MCCS) at CCW, which integrates control centre platforms, networks and terminals into a single package.
The public safety sector has lagged behind society at large in the development of technology and apps, said Huawei; it relies on narrowband networks, like P25, Tetra and DMR, that provide little more than voice, and limit the response time and delay the decision making of emergency services.
Its new eLTE MCCS system, which reduces the form factor of eLTE network equipment down to the size of a briefcase, closes technological gaps by interconnecting narrowband systems, video surveillance and GIS systems through a single mobile service convergence platform, the company said.
It will see narrowband networks phased out by encouraging public safety agencies to upgrade to new private LTE-based networks, including those based on 3GPP, ITU and MulteFire standards.
Huawei drew attention to three aspects: its ‘dispatching anywhere’ capability, providing multimedia dispatching; its ‘comprehensive awareness’ portfolio, providing high visibility and surveillance via officer and vehicle-mounted devices, as well as via cameras, drones and IoT sensors; and its ‘multi-service collaboration’ function, integrating public networks and narrowband trunking systems.
At the same time, US vendor Motorola Solutions, which purchased Vancouver-based video surveillance and analytics firm Avigilon for $1 billion at the end of March, showcased its own advanced command centre ecosystem at CCW, replete with IoT and AI functionality.
Separately, in a Digital Policing roundtable hosted at CCW by Motorola Solutions, IHS analyst Thomas Lynch said integrated mobile workflows will be crucial to solving contemporary challenges in policing.
“The existing systems are one of the main challenges facing public safety officers today. Whether it’s silos, permissions and security clearance, or cyber-security, bringing in unified and mobile workflows will be a key trend moving forward,” he said.