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Kenya Police: Constructing a Video-based Emergency Communication Network

04.08.2015 00:00:00

In the remote areas of Kenya, the wireless emergency communication network used by the national Kenya Police uses an old analog trunking system and out-of-date equipment, which causes high O&M costs. In addition, the analog trunking system is vulnerable to external signal interference so that on-duty personnel patrolling the city and countryside and maintaining the command center cannot clearly hear each other. Although the TETRA system has been used in cities such as Nairobi, TETRA does not support video and broadband data services, only voice services.

To make citizens and their work environment safer, and to attract more foreign investments, the Kenya Police realized it needed an emergency communications network with better features and advanced technologies to be able to employ video dispatching, video surveillance, and high-speed data backhaul services. What’s more, in its plan for 2030, the Kenya government selected the information industry as one of three key areas of concentration.

The emergency communications network used by the Kenya Police is constructed and maintained by Safaricom, a leading mobile network carrier in Kenya. Founded in 1993, Safaricom provides consumers with 2G/3G public mobile communication networks and mobile terminals, and provides the Kenya government with ICT networks and solutions.

In 2014, Safaricom cooperated with Huawei to deploy an eLTE emergency communications network in Nairobi, suburban areas up to 10 km distant from the city, and in the urban areas of Mombasa, the country’s second largest city. When emergencies occur, the on-duty personnel of the Nairobi Police Station can send on-site, real-time HD videos to the large screen of the command center by pressing the shortcut buttons on trunking handsets. The command center can then deliver these videos to police cars equipped with voice-and-video stations. As a result, all on-duty personnel at headquarters, the command center, and in police cars can conduct a visible, coordinated, three-dimension operation.

Huawei also provided a unified solution that integrates intelligent video surveillance, IP contact centers, telepresence video conferencing, and a geographic information system. The solution is used on the eLTE emergency network to deliver voice, video, and data services. This improves the Kenya Police’s ability to cooperate with medical departments, municipal administrations, and other departments, and improve the efficiency of its emergency response.

In 2015, Safaricom will continue to cooperate with Huawei to speed the construction of Kenya’s eLTE emergency communications network and extend it to other major cities and roads in the country.

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