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The Spanish city of Rivas-Vaciamadrid works with Huawei to establish a private eLTE broadband trunking network, which integrates professional trunking, voice, data, and video. The private network connects with the existing TETRA network, enabling mobile visual command and dispatching. The application of the private network has greatly improved the command, dispatching, and work efficiency of local police, and established a wireless network foundation that is prepared for the deployment of Smart City.

Background

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?

Challenges

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:

  • The TETRA narrowband provided voice services only and did not support multimedia data applications, such as a real-time Geographic Information System (GIS) and mobile surveillance. As a result, this network failed to meet the requirements of government and police agencies for video and large-traffic data usage. For example, the police desired to have added visibility capabilities to learn about on-site situations through videos within a short period of time. However, this network did not support such functions, resulting in limited awareness of on-site situations and low policing efficiency.
  • The incident reporting and handling systems were not integrated with each other. In other words, the command and dispatch system was isolated from the video surveillance system. This isolation slowed down emergency response and created difficulties in cross-department collaboration.
  • The legacy network had been running for more than 10 years and was approaching End of Life (EOL), resulting in high maintenance costs.
  • Due to the shrinking narrowband industry chain, narrowband network operators failed to find the right evolution direction even if they wanted to upgrade.
  • 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.

    Solution

    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:

  • The solution uses the most advanced LTE wireless broadband technology to enable 100 Mbit/s for downlink transmission and 50 Mbit/s for uplink transmission.
  • A single network supports multimedia trunking, video dispatching, High-Definition (HD) wireless video surveillance, real-time distribution and backhaul of HD videos and pictures, ultra-long-distance data acquisition, and mobile office services.
  • The Command Center can review videos sent back in real time from eLTE terminals or directly watch live video footage captured by city-wide surveillance cameras. By doing so, the Command Center can remotely assess on-site conditions accurately and effectively manage on-site incidents. Additionally, by leveraging GIS to locate people and vehicles, the Command Center can allocate the most appropriate police resources and achieve visualized dispatching.
  • The handheld eLTE terminals can be installed with the police station’s Intranet office software, covering email, video surveillance, and police dispatching. These installations implement better-connected mobile police operations and provide enriched police dispatch information through multimedia police dispatching tickets. In the case of emergencies, nearby police officers can collaborate with each other in real time, making police dispatching and incident handling more accurate and efficient.
  • The eLTE broadband trunking system can interwork with the legacy TETRA system and communicate with public-network mobile phones. High compatibility achieves the convergence of multiple network communication methods and more efficient cross-department communication and collaboration.
  • The eLTE broadband trunking network can be interconnected with the public network to implement public network coverage in areas with insufficient private network coverage. This interconnection expands the scope of applications and reduces the initial investment. In this way, investments can be gradually increased to improve coverage and data capabilities.
  • 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 surveillance, 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.”

    Benefits

    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.

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