Mauritius, a volcanic island in eastern Africa, is located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean, 2,200 km 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:

  • Converged command

    Integrated video surveillance, videoconferencing, and eLTE terminal video convergence solutions; enhancing negotiation, command, and decision-making efficiency.

  • Public safety monitoring

    Support for HD cameras, video storage, panoramic surveillance coverage, facial recognition, and blacklist control.

  • Intelligent Traffic System (ITS)

    Intelligent checkpoints support Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and vehicle track analysis.

  • Service cloudification

    All-cloud data centers simplify O&M and save space.

Building an All-Cloud Safe City

To meet the requirements of the MPF and Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, 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. Solution partners include DS, Esri, YiTu, and Hexagon.

  • Unified command center

    Consists of a Command and Control Centre (CCC), a Traffic Monitoring Center (TMC), and seven Sub-Command Centers (SCCs); integrates the Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD), Integrated Communication Platform (ICP), and Internet Protocol Contact Center (IPCC) solutions; supports various communication modes such as voice, video, and data; provides the customer with 150 IP phones. The command center displays various types of information in a visualized manner, applying unified resource scheduling and improving collaboration between departments.

  • Emergency communications

    45 base stations, 4,500 mobile terminals, and 500 eLTE onboard and desktop terminals send on-site video and images to the command center in real time, achieving visualized dispatching and timely responses.

  • Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS)

    4,000 HD cameras (3,000 box cameras and 1,000 dome cameras), 2,000 sites, video storage for 30 days, and 500 facial recognition channels. ISV applications, such as facial recognition, can apply in-depth interconnection and optimization with Huawei’s video cloud platform to enable accelerated launch and zero-risk delivery.

  • Intelligent road surveillance

    75 intelligent checkpoints, 300 ANPR checkpoints, and 150 traffic cameras provide functions such as license plate recognition, traffic data collection, and video recording.

  • IT devices and data centers provide high-density cloud infrastructures, including E9000 converged architecture blade servers, OceanStor 2800 video cloud converged storage systems, and Dorado V3 all-flash storage. Compared with traditional appliance solutions, Huawei’s Smart City solution saves 40 percent of equipment room space. In addition, Huawei’s Bare Metal Service (BMS) provides the customer with the ultimate physical server performance as well as the same convenient experience as Virtual Machine (VM) provisioning. In this way, services can be quickly migrated to the cloud without changes. Huawei also provides the eSight Safe City and data center converged management solutions to simplify Safe City and data center O&M, help O&M personnel rectify system faults, and ensure stable Safe City monitoring.

Paving the Road to an Intelligent Mauritius

In the project’s early stages, Huawei and MT succeeded in simulating the scenarios of theft of tourists’ goods or vehicles, covering the following processes: incident reporting, call taking, dispatching, image-based investigation (video playback, facial recognition, and reverse search), and suspect and suspicious-vehicle surveillance. The demonstration greatly impressed the MPF and Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport.

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 and Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport. 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.

The solution provides the following intelligent analysis functions for efficient case investigation:

  • Facial recognition

    The system automatically generates alarms when detecting suspicious personnel. Facial recognition accuracy exceeds 95 percent, and license plate recognition accuracy exceeds 99 percent.

  • Intelligent search

    The system can quickly locate recorded objects and identify features, improving search and video analysis efficiency by nearly 25 percent.

  • Video synopsis

    Several hours of recorded video can be aggregated into minutes. For example, a 50-minute video clip can be aggregated down to two minutes.

  • Intelligent applications

    Track analysis and real-time surveillance provide valuable clues for case and incident investigations.

Intelligent road surveillance also greatly improves traffic control in Mauritius. Specifically, road surveillance improves road capacity, thereby decreasing the rate of roadway accidents by 45 percent. In addition, the system supports vehicle identification (such as cloned license plates and stolen vehicles) and blacklist control. That is, the system can proactively detect blacklisted vehicles through surveillance cameras along the road and report them in a timely manner, implementing multi-department linkage.

Huawei’s Safe City solution can prevent crimes targeting at tourists before they occur. Even if a robbery does occur, the police can quickly solve the case to save tourists’ losses and ensure their interests. In this way, crimes can be prevented in advance, emergency management can be assisted in a timely manner, and clues can be discovered — allowing tourists to travel among different attractions in Mauritius more smoothly and safely — which will improve tourist satisfaction and generate more revenue for the island.

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 safe and livable country, and help the island move towards the intelligent world.

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