Evolving public safety systems from voice to video


20 August 2016
Koh Hong Eng of Huawei

Interoperability is key to safeguarding legacy systems as safe city applications evolve from mainly voice-based systems to encompass communications, voice and data, video surveillance and command and control.

Speaking at the official opening of Huawei’s Southern Pacific OpenLab in Singapore in August, Mr Koh Hong Eng, global chief public safety expert with the Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies, said safe city applications have to be designed such that they are able to take care of the legacy systems that are still being used by developed countries in many parts of the world. For example, ruggedised P25 (Project 25) and Tetra (terrestrial trunked radio) systems which are still widely used for public radio services were built for voice. They are not data or video ready unlike, for example, Huawei’s eLTE (enhanced LTE) devices that are being deployed today.

As a communications infrastructure player, Huawei is approaching this through an integrated communications platform that will allow the different generations of devices to talk to each other.

“We need the interoperability to safeguard the legacy systems, and at the same time allow the evolution to ELTE which will support data and video.”

The effective use of data and video will help improve situational awareness in public safety scenarios and deliver better visibility to first responders even before they arrive at the scene, said Mr Koh.

To illustrate this, Huawei gave a demonstration a computer-aided dispatch solution from Hexagon which has been integrated into the communications platform, allowing real-time video feeds to be pulled from relevant CCTV cameras and sent to the responders’ eLTE devices.

Hexagon has been partnering Huawei since 2014 to provide safe city solutions that combine command-and-control software, intelligent video analysis, cloud computing and eLTE networks to improve public safety and security.

At the OpenLab event, Huawei also inked Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with ICT service provider NCS and global security systems company Tyco to co-create safe city solutions for Singapore’s smart nation projects.

Huawei has invested US$3 million in the construction of the laboratory site and recruitment of local talents. The 650 sq m facility is the first Huawei OpenLab in the region, and is connected to other OpenLabs in China, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Russia to facilitate the international exchange of ideas about new business models, market needs, and technical solutions.

Through this initiative, Huawei is looking to build up a sustainable ICT ecosystem through joint collaboration with software and industry partners, and provide an ICT Infrastructure platform where partners can verify their solutions in actual network environment.

The Southern Pacific OpenLab will focus on areas such as cloud computing, intelligent monitoring, big data, Internet of Things and connectivity. In terms of industry, some of the sectors that it is looking at include education, finance and transport.