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Huawei: Smart technologies and safety are not mutually exclusive

Huawei: Smart technologies and safety are not mutually exclusive

The choice to roll out smart technologies should never be one that sacrifices safety. This is according to global technology firm Huawei which held its annual South Africa Eco Connect Conference in Johannesburg today. Representatives from the company say safety will always be a primary consideration in the implementation of smart city solutions because the two concepts are closely related.

Kemo Bosielo, Key Accounts Manager for Government and the Public Sector at Huawei Enterprise Group says leveraging smart technologies in order to address challenges in education, health or even transport requires the prioritisation of security.

“The biggest challenge facing governments in the delivery of these essential services is safety. Huawei is pushing the concept of safety first and then smart. The basic understanding behind this is that safety empowers communities and empowers people to go out and seek jobs and become part of the economy. Without communities feeling safe we cannot propel them to a smart city and we cannot introduce IoT or move to predictive decision making by government through the use of big data analytics without that platform or foundation of safety.”

Rose Moyo, ‎Director for Enterprise Wireless Solutions in the East & Southern Africa Region for ‎Huawei Enterprise Group agrees with Bosielo’s view that safety precedes smart and points to implementation of this approach by Huawei in Kenya since 2015.

“We have to be safe before we become smart. We started with that concept and successfully implemented it in Kenya where we had a rollout within six months for Nairobi and Mombasa. In that we were looking at implementing intelligent video surveillance and putting the eyes on the streets of Nairobi and Mombasa and now they are expanding this concept to see how they can add to it and make it a smart city. They are integrating things like energy, water and so on. They are taking a step by step approach.”

Moyo adds that other successful implementations include Mauritius where Huawei is installing its intelligent traffic system in Port Louis with the aim of broadening into a smart city in the near future.

Securing information in smart city

Peter Goulding, Global Public Safety Expert at Huawei Europe, who is among the keynote speakers at Eco Connect 2018 says the safe handling of data gathered as part of laying a strong foundation for smart city is an important consideration when it come to safety in smart city as a whole.

“If we build in smart health for example that means you can capture and use the data within the health environment but there comes a time where you need access to that health data at the right level in other areas like the criminal side. For cases of domestic violence and others you will need a multi-agency approach to solve those and so what you need to be doing when you build the platform is to isolate data but with the ability to share and exchange where it is appropriate.”

Huawei launched a range of products for use in smart city projects at South Africa EcoConnect 2018 which include a new FusionServer V5 Rack Server.

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