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Protecting Enchanted Kenya

Kenya, known as the ’Cradle of Mankind,’ is famous for its vast, picturesque landscapes and extraordinary animal life. Unfortunately, the beauty and vitality of Kenya are challenged by a variety of internal and external threats such as criminal incidents and terrorist attacks, as well as routine public safety matters such as the handling of traffic accidents.

Informed Decisions Make Safer Cities

Safe City solutions that require innovative ICT for security management are part of Kenya’s national strategy. Huawei partnered with Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile network operator, and discovered the following challenges:

  • Legacy Systems: Analog trunking systems were still being used for emergency communications; outdated devices left systems vulnerable to interference from external signals, leading to unclear communications.
  • Disparate Systems: Kenya’s police system included numerous agencies across the country, creating difficulties in planning and building subsystems into the solution for quick use across agencies and multiple locations.
  • Project Delivery: Complexity of the project required collaboration with upstream and downstream enterprises in the industry chain.

State-of-the-Art Solution

For visual dispatching, Huawei and Safaricom deployed eLTE emergency communications networks in Nairobi and surrounding suburbs, as well as Mombasa, the nation’s second largest city. Field officers can now upload on-site HD videos that stream to large screens in the command center simply by pressing a button on their handheld trunking devices. The command center sends the videos to police cars with vehicle-mounted trunking terminals, implementing visual command and collaboration.

Protecting Kenya’s Public Safety

Huawei’s Safe City solution includes interoperability among subsystems and functionalities based on a phased implementation schedule for future support products.

Huawei helped prioritize device configurations based on functionalities like Geographic Information System (GIS) and video distribution. The ‘role ‒ function ‒ configuration’ architecture helped users adapt easily to the new system. During project delivery, when the two companies encountered problems finding mature service resources locally, Huawei and Safaricom scheduled their own local resources by assigning dedicated teams from China and other countries for reliable project delivery.

ICT Builds Safer Cities

Huawei believes that Kenya’s new security management infrastructure opens an exciting new chapter for the country’s two largest cities, where features like broadband trunking and visual command are actively protecting lives and property. The deployment of the Safe City solution has drastically improved safety conditions in the country. According to a 2015 annual report from Kenyan police, the crime rate in the coverage area decreased by 46 percent when compared to the previous year.

A longtime Kenyan journalist said, “I’ve heard about the African people living in misery for years. Misery is not horrible. What is horrible is if we do nothing to change it.”

Huawei’s commitment to improving the lives for the Kenyan people is creating that change.

By Zhang Aixue

Industry Marketing Execution Department, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

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