Huawei announces smart city control centre

Huawei's Intelligent Operation Centre uses big data, machine learning, and AI to provide a dashboard to collect, monitor, and analyse information to be used in city planning and management.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Huawei has released its Intelligent Operation Centre (IOC), calling it the "brain" of smart cities.

The IOC has a city dashboard for collecting, monitoring, and analysing data, and using it for managing and making decisions for city events, emergencies, security, transportation, and other services.

It makes use of an Integrated Communications Platform (ICP) bringing together big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to provide insights.

"The underlying infrastructure of the IOC comprises distributed cloud datacentres and ubiquitous city networks that collect, integrate, and share city information, enabling real-time visibility of the city," Huawei added.

"A secure cloud datacentre based on open architecture ... enables the integration and sharing of city information resources to improve government service efficiency and decision-making accuracy."

The IOC complements Huawei's offerings of wired and wireless broadband, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, and its LiteOS intelligent operating system, which it said form the "central nervous system" to the IOC's brain by collecting data through sensors and cameras.

"A smart city is like a living organism, which is powered by a nervous system. This smart city nervous system comprises a 'brain' [the control centre] and 'peripheral nerves' [the network and sensors], gathering real-time information about the status of the city, transmitting the data, enabling the 'brain' to analyse and make informed decisions, delivering feedback commands, and ultimately carrying out intelligent actions," Yan Lida, president of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said on Wednesday.

"This creates a seamless link between the physical and digital worlds. Leveraging leading new IT such as cloud computing, IoT, and AI, Huawei is committed to creating a strong nervous system that powers smart cities."

Huawei said it is therefore one of the only end-to-end providers for "cloud-pipe-device" smart cities solutions, also pointing towards its 13 OpenLabs across the globe.

"The OpenLabs offer an open end-to-end one-stop IT infrastructure platform where partners can test and verify their smart city solutions in actual network environment, leverage research, marketing, and solutions delivery, and experience best practices and solutions for smart cities," the company said.

"Huawei can provide all-round IT support to city administrators, and is committed to planning, building, and investing in smart cities with city administrators in the long-run, enabling services to be provided faster, more efficiently, and with fewer resources."

The Chinese technology giant is already helping deploy its smart city solutions to more than 120 cities across 40 countries, it said.

Huawei had last week said that it is also pushing the concept of safer cities through technology and IoT applications.

Huawei has been working with the Longgang District government in China on improving public safety, Huawei Enterprise global public safety expert Augustine Chiew said, by developing a safe city solution framework focused on data collection, aggregation, convergence, and applications.

Longgang and Huawei have deployed 7,000 HD cameras across the district and connected 34,000 legacy cameras in shopping malls, parks, petrol stations, and communities.

The cameras make use of licence plate and facial recognition technology, with Chiew saying they capture around 14.6 million facial images every day, along with 140,000 number plate readings at petrol stations.

Around 7,457 Huawei smartphones have also been deployed to officers, allowing them to run specifically designed apps for identity checks, vehicle checks, accessing camera feeds, issuing summonses, and updating reports on the go.

As a result of the safe city project, Chiew said theft and robbery decreased by 53.2 percent and case solvency grew by 45.1 percent year on year in the first half of 2017 in Longgang District.

Huawei has also been working on fitting out Weifang, China, with its NB-IoT smart city applications and OceanConnect IoT platform, in September announcing the launch of a demo smart city there.

Weifang is using Huawei's city-level IoT platform to access, manage, and collect data from sensory equipment spread across the city in real-time, including smart lighting applications that monitor the status of street lamps, automatically adjust brightness, and detect faults, with the system designed to save 80 percent of traditional electricity usage and 90 percent of previous maintenance costs.

Huawei on Wednesday also published its position paper on 5G spectrum, spruiking a "multi-layer" approach.

"The 'Coverage and Capacity Layer' relies on the 2 to 6GHz range (eg, the C-band, 3.3-4.2 and 4.4-5.0GHz) to deliver the best compromise between capacity and coverage. This layer will emerge as the world's first band for the much anticipated commercial deployment of 5G," Huawei explained.

"The 'Coverage Layer' exploits the spectrum below 2GHz (eg, 700MHz) providing wide-area and deep indoor coverage. The 'Super Data Layer' relies on the spectrum above 6GHz (eg, 24.25-29.5 and 37-43.5GHz) to address specific use cases requiring extremely large capacity and high data rates."

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