Bolivia is an inland country located in western-central South America. It is a plateau country with the highest average elevation in the world. Cochabamba is an important traffic hub and tourist city in the river valley in central Bolivia. As the capital of the Cochabamba Department, Cochabamba is the third largest city in Bolivia. The city covers 170 square kilometers, of which 111 square kilometers are urban areas. At present, 1,938,400 people live there. There are more than 5,000 police officers, accounting for 14.8% of police officers in Bolivia.

Challenges Facing the City

With the gradual development of urbanization, the population of Cochabamba is increasing year by year, bringing more challenges to comprehensive city management. The city's public safety is not only a concern of citizens but also directly affects the growth of tourism income. The city also faces threats of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other emergencies.

Some of the existing public safety assurance systems had defects, such as malfunctioning cameras in the city, out-of-warranty trunking, and broken terminals, increasing urban public safety management risks. At the same time, the policing, firefighting, and medical agencies had siloed ICT systems. When incidents occurred, it was difficult for those agencies to collaborate with each other and effectively respond to emergencies.

Cochabamba's mayor wanted to solve those issues and improve the city living environment. Additionally, the mayor hoped to build a city command center while protecting the existing investments, which could lay a solid foundation for constructing a Smart City in the future. After in-depth investigation, the Cochabamba government signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei on Safe City and Smart City on November 21, 2016.

Cornerstones for Building a Visualized Smart City

Safety City is the core of a Smart City. It uses information and communications technologies to predict, prevent, and reduce crimes and cope with new or potential threats. In this way, it can improve emergency/disaster planning and response capabilities, reduce the operating expense (OPEX), and allocate resources more effectively. As a global end-to-end ICT provider, Huawei has been actively engaged in the development of public safety solutions. In the cooperation with the Cochabamba government, Huawei provided integrated Safe City solutions, including intelligent surveillance, visualized critical communication, and converged command system, satisfying smart public safety requirements.

  • A new city command center was constructed based on Huawei's Integrated Communication Platform (ICP). The ICP is a suite of visualized converged command solutions. It integrates a variety of systems such as video surveillance, call center, broadband trunking, and videoconferencing systems with the partner's Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to build a converged command center, including 15 agents, video walls, CAD, and GIS. The ICP also enables the integration of voice, video, and data services, GIS-based resource visualization, multi-channel alarm reporting, and video surveillance alarm access. As a result, commanders can make rapid decisions and multiple agencies can collaborate with each other based on the CAD system.

  • The wireless network becomes increasingly important. In the electronic surveillance and technical development standards of Bolivia, 4G LTE is included in the communication technology standards. According to the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Transportation (ATT), 380–399.9 MHz can be used for public safety. Huawei's integrated Safe City solutions provide Cochabamba with 4G eLTE wireless broadband trunking, such as eLTE base stations, handheld terminals, vehicle-mounted terminals, and smartphone terminals. An eLTE broadband trunking wireless network supports voice trunking, video, broadband data, and mobile office services. In this way, the command center can grasp more critical information in a timely manner and watch on-site video.

  • To facilitate visualized city management, Cochabamba has deployed 200 new PTZ dome cameras to cover key urban areas, such as intersections, schools, and hospitals. Each site is pre-integrated with HD cameras, the network, and a power module, supporting rapid deployment. The eLTE wireless broadband backhaul technology reduces costs and duration of wired network deployment in remote sites. Additionally, the eLTE wireless technology features high bandwidth, strong anti-interference capability, and long-distance transmission, ensuring stable and fast transmission of data and images. The cameras provide valuable information about roads, buildings, public areas, and accident scenes. By monitoring and managing the information, public safety agencies can prevent incidents and respond to emergencies properly as soon as possible.

When a critical incident occurs, the command center acts as a brain to receive alarms reported by citizens through multiple channels, such as phone calls, short messages, and emails. Based on the GIS system of the command center, dispatchers can directly locate the incident, invoke nearby cameras to obtain on-site video, and notify nearby police officers of approaching the scene. If there is a fire and injuries, dispatchers can notify firefighting and medical agencies for collaboration. Ground police officers use eLTE handheld trunking terminals to send on-site video to the command center through the deployed eLTE critical communication network in real time. At the same time, the command center can distribute the video to frontline police officers and other collaboration agencies. Agencies can make rapid response, efficiently communicate and collaborate with each other, and make deployment and decisions quickly based on mobile, real-time, and visualized information sharing and integrated command and dispatching. In this way, the government can minimize losses and ensure citizen safety.

Evolution Towards a Smart City

With the integrated Safe City solutions, the Cochabamba government has strengthened emergency response and converged command capabilities, improved case handling efficiency, reduced crime rates, and provided residents with more secure and happier lives. Based on public safety, the command center of Cochabamba will evolve into an integrated operation hall of Smart City and play a more important role in education, healthcare, tourism, transportation, and other sectors. Cochabamba will gradually become a Smart City on the plateau and a pearl on the continent of South America.

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