Spain’s Rivas-Vaciamadrid Builds the Smart City 'Nervous System' with Huawei eLTE Broadband Trunking Solution
In front of the Jose Saramago school gate in the city of Rivas-Vaciamadrid, Spain, a father who was unable to find his child was anxiously seeking help from a police officer patrolling near the school. The police officer immediately called the Command Center for support and meanwhile used his handheld eLTE terminal to photograph the pictures of the child stored in the father’s mobile phone, and then transmitted the captured photo to the Command Center.
Upon receiving this incident report, the Command Center for the Rivas-Vaciamadrid police station took immediate action to address the situation. They quickly pinpointed the nearest patrol vehicles through their command system, dispatched them to the field for support, and sent the child’s photo and missing child notification to the handheld eLTE terminals of all the police officers in that region. At the same time, the Command Center searched for possible leads by looking through real-time video feeds shot by surrounding cameras. Less than half an hour later, a police officer found a possible match in a nearby basketball court and immediately used his handheld eLTE terminal to start a video call with the father. After confirmation, this child was indeed the one missing and the father and son were then reunited.
There are a large number of children that go missing in the world every year: In the United States alone, about 800,000 children go missing annually. The first 24 hours are the golden period to find the missing children. Police officers in Rivas-Vaciamadrid could not have found the missing child or handle similar cases so quickly if they used a Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) narrowband network instead. So, how did they make this possible?
The City’s ‘Nervous System’ Receives Much Needed Smart Upgrades
Rivas-Vaciamadrid is a city belonging to the autonomous Community of Madrid, Spain. The city covers a land area of 67.4 square kilometers with a population of about 84,000 and is located just 15 kilometers from the center of Madrid. This city is one of the youngest in the Madrid region, with the average age of citizens being 34. It is also one of the most environment-friendly and sustainable cities, winning the European Union’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) Award in 2014.
Rivas-Vaciamadrid is a founding member of the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI) and is widely recognized as a ‘Smart City’ pioneer in Spain. Currently, Rivas-Vaciamadrid has a network of fiber-optic cables 800 kilometers long, which interconnects 86 municipal buildings, and provides public Wi-Fi services for the entire locality.
Pedro del Cura Sanchez, Mayor of Rivas-Vaciamadrid, said: “In 2004, the city decided to start investing in technology. There were two important factors to determine this investment. The first factor was to create a better-managed city with enough technology resources for more efficient city management and greater savings. The second factor was to better serve citizens with these technology resources.”
The objectives of Rivas-Vaciamadrid coincide with Huawei’s three goals when working with customers to build Smart Cities: good governance, citizen benefits, and economic revitalization.
A Smart City is like a living organism powered by a nervous system. A Smart City ‘nervous system’ consists of a ‘brain’ (the control center) and ‘peripheral nerves’ (the network and sensors). This system gathers real-time information about the status of the city, transmits the data, enables the ‘brain’ to analyze and make informed decisions, delivers feedback and commands, and ultimately lead to more intelligent actions.
The legacy ‘nervous system’ of the Rivas-Vaciamadrid government was a TETRA network built in 2005. This legacy network had the following problems:
As such, the Rivas-Vaciamadrid government urgently needed to upgrade its existing network and decided to build new Smart City ‘nervous system’ functions that could cover the entire city, and provide more efficient command and dispatch services for 330 police officers.
Improved On-Site Visibility, More Efficient Command
Huawei is one of a few vendors in the industry that provides a holistic set of ICT solutions characterized by cloud-pipe-device synergy. Huawei’s eLTE Broadband Trunking Solution provides professional services, such as video backhaul, broadband trunking, and critical communications, on a single network to enable visualized dispatching. This solution is mainly intended for the public safety sector and extends to Smart Cities with integrated access network platforms to other sectors, establishing a solid foundation for more Smart City applications.
After meticulous consideration of multiple factors, the Rivas-Vaciamadrid government selected Huawei’s eLTE Broadband Trunking Solution to upgrade their legacy network.
The Huawei eLTE Broadband Trunking Solution provides the following compelling features:
To address spectrum problems, Huawei is collaborating with Masmovil, the fourth largest mobile carrier in Spain, to provide a 2.6 GHz frequency band. Huawei is also teaming up with the live-network integrator Tecnicas Competitivas, which provides eLTE broadband trunking delivery and maintenance services. For network planning, technical consultation, and project recommendations, Huawei is working with wireless planning consulting firm, Aptica.
Huawei’s eLTE Broadband Trunking Solution dramatically improves the command and dispatch efficiency as well as quick response capabilities for Rivas-Vaciamadrid police officers in all cases, from major activities and emergencies to daily police operations.
Fernando Argote Cardenosa, the Director of the Rivas-Vaciamadrid police station, stated: “The Command Center provides advantages that are clearly beneficial to Rivas-Vaciamadrid citizens. From here, we control the city traffic. For many public safety incidents, such as missing children, we find that the Huawei eLTE Broadband Trunking Solution is crucial. The most important thing for public safety is enabling the Command Center to respond quickly.”
Smart City Services Reach New Levels
Currently, 80 percent of the Rivas-Vaciamadrid area benefits from the eLTE network coverage. What makes the Rivas-Vaciamadrid stand out from other cities is that all city management systems are deeply converged. Almost all city facilities that can be remotely managed are networked, including video security, energy management, public lighting, decorative fountains, public street facilities, and park irrigation facilities. The local government also provides location-based services, so that any city managers can access city management applications anytime, anywhere, and from any device through Wi-Fi access via Bidi, RFID, and NFC.
Carlos Ventura, the Director of Rivas-Vaciamadrid’s Telecommunication Department, pointed out: “The evolution from narrowband to broadband is an inevitable trend. Huawei’s eLTE Network Solution is well integrated with all the systems in the city, especially with the Rivas-Vaciamadrid Smart City project. From an eLTE terminal, you can access any system in the city, such as public lighting. In the event of an emergency, police officers and other city managers may increase lighting and perform other actions, such as opening doors or buildings via the eLTE terminal without the need for keys or other assistance.”
Ana Reboiro, a member of the Economic Development and Employment Council and Interior System and Telecommunications Council, said: “The new eLTE network developed by Huawei and our Rivas-Vaciamadrid City Council provides voice, video, and information services for the city’s security and emergency response. This new network is the foundation for addressing new challenges in urban development and will improve the daily lives of Rivas-Vaciamadrid citizens. This is the first-of-its-kind project in Spain. Once again, Rivas-Vaciamadrid leads the development of new technologies for city services. I would like to thank Huawei for the trust that they have placed in the Rivas-Vaciamadrid City Council. I hope that we can continue to work together on developing new technologies to respond to new challenges in the future.”
By leveraging a series of new ICT technologies, such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Huawei is dedicated to expanding ‘nervous system’ functionalities that empower Smart Cities. With innovation and accrued experiences in various technologies, Huawei has developed an open platform for Smart Cities. This platform is compatible with various devices downstream and supports a wide range of applications upstream. In the future, Huawei will continue to work together with ecosystem partners to help Rivas-Vaciamadrid add visibility to daily city operations, accelerate cross-departmental emergency response and city management decision-making based on big data, as well as further enhance the operations of public services such as education, sports, energy, and public safety. All these enhancements will create a solid foundation for the ongoing Smart City journey of Rivas-Vaciamadrid.