NEC joins UK smart city project

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NEC is to create a software defined networking based smart city platform for Bristol in the United Kingdom, providing potential services for residents, enterprises and academics.

The vendor will work on the Bristol is Open project, a joint venture between the city's council and the University of Bristol, which aims to run new types of services and applications across the city. The city's council said the SDN-based infrastructure will remove the difficulties of stranded capacity and bottlenecks across its transport network. By managing traffic more dynamically, the council said will be able to allocate resources more efficiently and faster.

NEC said potential services that could be powered by the platform is low latency connectivity for driverless cars, an IoT network that could enable smart health services, HD television broadcasts and ultra-fast transfer of information between universities.

In December, Arqiva and Sigfox launched the first of their smart city networks in the United Kingdom. The first venue to go live was Greenwich, which is where a driverless cars pilot will be held.

Dejan Bojic, Director of Strategy & Solutions at NEC Corporation in EMEA, commented: “This is a truly ground breaking smart city project. It will use the latest NEC SDN-enabled network technologies – which will operate with Bristol Is Open’s SDN platform, developed by the University of Bristol – to create an open, dynamic, virtualised network to serve each traffic type according to its Quality of Service priorities and real-time levels of demand over multi-carrier Wi-Fi, LTE, millimetre wave and optical channels.

"Looking further ahead, we see our partnership with Bristol as a unique opportunity to apply and showcase NEC’s ‘Solutions for Society’ in close collaboration with local government, universities and industrial partners.”

Paul Wilson, Managing Director, Bristol Is Open, added, “With NEC’s support we’ll start turning our bold vision of making the world’s first open programmable city into a reality. NEC’s cutting edge technologies, backed by engineering expertise and dedication, will help us create a collaborative ecosystem of global tech firms, start-ups and local community organisations to use Bristol’s network as a city-scale lab. Bristol has already opened up almost two hundred of the city’s data sets on traffic flows, energy use, crime and health trends to kick-start the creation of innovative new services.”

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