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Mauritius, a volcanic island in eastern Africa, is located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean, 2,200 kilometers from the African continent. It is surrounded by coral reefs and has a variety of natural wonders. Mark Twain once said, “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius.” Now the island has become a garden paradise for people from all across the world to enjoy. In 2017, 1.35 million tourists visited Mauritius, and that number is estimated to grow by 5.1 percent in 2018, making tourism one of Mauritius’s core industries.
Tourists can stroll the fine white-sand beach of Île aux Cerfs, marvel at the rare seven-colored earths of Chamarel, enjoy giant water lilies at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, or witness holy weddings in Notre Dame Auxiliatrice. But no matter the pursuit, guaranteed safety is a must for leisurely holidays and prosperous tourism.
Improving Policing and Efficiency with Science and Technology
Urbanization has generated centralized and intensive population distribution in Mauritius, which has led to the gradual deterioration of public safety. The number of criminal cases increased from 3,601 in 2012 to 5,361 in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.3 percent, increasing the crime rate from 32.68 percent to 36.66 percent over the past five years.
Mauritius’s current police resources are insufficient to handle this surge in crime. The island’s call-taking and dispatching system and dispatch system are independent of each other, and there is no real command center. Four analog phones receive all emergency calls from the entire nation, which still uses manual dispatching. All this leads to time-consuming call taking and dispatching, low efficiency, and a lack of collaboration — making it difficult to respond to reported incidents within 15 seconds and handle them within 15 minutes.
The island’s Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance system was installed in 2010. It features low video resolution (720p) and cannot be used with intelligent applications. As a result, videos have to be manually filtered, which reduces efficiency when compared with modern, automated systems.
In addition, the lack of surveillance facilities and converged command centers makes it difficult for Mauritius’s Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport to comprehensively detect, analyze, and then disperse urban traffic in real time.
These conditions not only hinder the rapid growth of tourism, but also negatively impact the overall economic development of Mauritius and the well being of its citizens.
Born at the right time to meet one of the key goals of the government’s ‘2030 vision’, the installation of a Safe City infrastructure is part of the country’s national strategy and aims to transform Mauritius into a safe and stable country and make it the first African nation with integrated safety and intelligence. While promoting tourism, the government hopes to attract foreign investment with safety and intelligence features that will safeguard economic prosperity and improve public happiness.
Mauritius has reached a consensus for improving policing and efficiency with science and technology. The government hopes to use new ICT technologies to better equip the Mauritius Police Force (MPF) and Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport to apply proactive monitoring, early warnings, unified communications, and crisis management. These new technologies will strengthen public safety and optimize transportation.
Safe City construction in Mauritius involves the following aspects:
Building an All-Cloud Safe City
To meet the requirements of the MPF and Government of Mauritius, Huawei proposed to help Mauritius build an all-cloud Safe City based on the concept of ‘one cloud and one pool’ to bring the digital world to every corner of the island.
‘One cloud’ refers to the unified and flexible scheduling of computing and storage resources based on cloud computing, which provides efficient cloud resource services, and ‘one pool’ focuses on data and refers to the centralized, mixed storage and shared scheduling of multiple data sources, such as video, images, voice, and structured data.
Huawei is the only vendor in the industry that can simultaneously integrate converged command, intelligent surveillance, intelligent transportation, and cloud computing — and its Safe City solution has been deployed in 230 cities in more than 90 countries and regions.
Mauritius Telecom (MT) and Huawei enjoy a successful cooperation foundation in the telecom market, and the Mauritius government chose both Huawei and MT to jointly transform the island into a country with integrated safety and intelligence. As a state-owned telecom company, MT is responsible for popularizing telecom services and improving the level of national information access to international standards. Therefore, MT is proactively involved in the ICT infrastructure and safe country construction in Mauritius.
Huawei’s comprehensive Safe City solution consists of six subsystems and adopts the design concept of ‘platform + ecosystem’. It combines industry best practices with Huawei’s ICT capabilities to achieve the optimal combination of various applications.
Paving the Road to an Intelligent Mauritius
Delivery of the project’s first phase is currently underway, with completion expected in 2019. Once the project is successfully delivered, the solution will provide visualized command and efficient collaboration for the MPF. Emergency response time (call taking and dispatching) will be reduced to less than 15 minutes, the emergency handling efficiency will be improved by 60 percent, and the linkage between the Safe City system and incident reporting system will effectively reduce crime rates.
Huawei’s Safe City solution can prevent crimes targeted towards the normal citizen, tourists, students, elderly persons etc before they occur. There are many scenarios where this deployment will apply or enhance policing such as robbery cases, pick pocketing, reduction of crime, road traffic incidents or non-compliances to road traffic acts and last but not least drug trafficking.
Huawei and its partners believe that the all-cloud Safe City solution will transform Mauritius into a safer country, attract more foreign investment, promote economic development, improve public safety, and maintain social stability. Huawei aims to convert Mauritius into a safer and livable country, and help the island move towards the intelligent world.