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Nokia Joins Bristol Is Open Smart City Project

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Nokia will contribute expertise and networking equipment to Bristol is Open smart city initiative, starting with analytics test for CCTV cameras

Nokia has joined the ‘Bristol Is Open’ (BIO) smart city testbed and will provide networking equipment and research capabilities to the project, which is a joint-venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol.

BIO is exploring how the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to solve urban challenges, such as traffic, pollution and even assisted living for the elderly. Small sensors, such as smartphones, provide the project with data about everyday life.

The project is funded by a mixture of public and private support and uses a “high powered operating system” developed by the university.

Bristol smart city

Ashton Gate Bristol“We are delighted that Nokia has accepted our invitation to join Bristol Is Open,” said Barney Smith, CEO of BIO. “Building on the excellent relationship we already have with Nokia Bell Labs, the skills and experience that Nokia has will enable us to take BIO to the next stage of its development: solving real world problems for citizens and creating opportunity for all.

“Nokia brings a unique set of capabilities for smart city solutions that, through our open programmable city, are replicable and applicable in other cities.”

Nokia claims it is the first major telecoms vendor to participate and was invited because of its research pedigree and because of Bell Labs close relationship with the university, particularly in the area of photonics.

The Finnish networking giant will use the testbed to pilot its technologies and allow it to discover more about the embryonic market for smart cities. Its first contribution will focus on the video analytical capabilities on the city-wide CCTV system, comprising more than 1,700 cameras.

“There is a great deal of talk around smart cities, but there are not many places where talk has led to action,” said Barry French, chief marketing officer at Nokia. “This innovative program will show what can be achieved by bringing together experts from various technology areas to deliver integrated solutions that actually improve people’s lives, a fundamental principle driving our everyday work.”

“This demonstrates the applicability of Nokia’s technology to the emerging smart cities market, which is part of the continuing focus of our dedicated teams in Government, Enterprise and Public Sector,” added Nokia’s UK head Cormac Whelan.

BIO’s activity led Bristol to be named alongside London as the UK’s top smart city by Huawei. A 10Gbps fibre to the premise (FTTP) network is being built by the Bristol Network partnership as authorities seek to support BIO and attract more digital companies to the area.

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