Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and Nokia have announced plans for a proof of concept demonstration of how mobile edge computing on an LTE networks can improve public safety. They plan to trial the technology during 2017.
VHA has also signed a MoU to join Nokia’s Mission Critical Communications Alliance, a global body made up of mobile operators, national and local-level public authorities, and first response agencies that aims to formalise standards of LTE-based technology for public safety use.
They describe the proposed mobile edge computing platform as “a virtualised network infrastructure that enables enterprises to host software applications to take advantage of low-latency and mission-critical mobile broadband networks, and say one of the potential public safety applications will be using video analytics to securely process data feeds from sensors such as CCTV cameras, connected over an LTE network in real-time.
Their announcement comes just days after Intel announced a new range of processors, the Atom E3900 series designed for IoT device and edge computing platforms and with much greater power than previous devices.
Ken Caviasca, general manager of Intel’s IoT platform engineering team, said the E3900 was able to supply three simultaneous displays each at 4K resolution, and could support an entire video surveillance system. “We can take 15 streams of 1080p at 30 frames per second into a single E3900, decode all those images, display them on a video wall, and record them,” he said.
“It can be used to track people in defined perimeter zones in outdoor locations and around public buildings such as museums using loitering detection; distinguish the movement of people and vehicles using object detection; and count the number of people entering or crossing a border,” VHA said.
Although VHA and Nokia don’t use the term their proposed mobile edge computing platform is also an implementation of fog computing, the Cisco-invented term for edge computing in IoT networks that has gained wide acceptance with the formation of the Open Fog Consortium that now has almost 50 members.
The organisation was due to release the first version of a reference architecture for fog computing in September, but we were unable to find any indication of this on the organisation’s web site.
Enabled by network functions virtualisation
VHA general manager technology strategy, Easwaren Siva, said: “What we are seeing is the coming together of various technical innovations such as network function virtualisation (NFV), deployment of mass sensors from the Internet of Things (IoT), low latency 4G and 5G networks via near edge computing, and video analytics to deliver very applicable public safety solutions.
“This smart technology has been designed to take the manual work out of security monitoring and could be used, for instance, by airports, shopping centres, or at large sporting events.”
The head of Oceania at Nokia, Ray Owen, said eliminating existing latency between sensors and centralised applications was critical to improving public safety communications.
Siva said the reliance on mobile networks would become more critical as sensors were increasingly being used for road traffic and public transportation systems, and improving public safety.
“As cities become smarter, the amount of data generated by connected sensors will grow and there will be calls for more efficient data processing strategies,” he said.