NEC Looks To Make Smart Cities Safer

by Sandhya Malhotra    Feb 19, 2015

smart city

At a time when most of the IT vendors are betting big on smart city projects, the NEC India wants to make these smart cities more safer and is eager to consolidate on the opportunities that lies in the 100 smart cities project.

The company has experience in converting smart cities into safer cities, through its smart cities innovative solutions, which covers sensing, authentication, monitoring, control, and cloud computing. With these five solutions, the company has started tapping opportunities in this space. Currently, it is open for technology partnership and working on its business model to work with the global and local partners.

“We are looking to put in smarter ways of communication, public safety, transportation, and overall governance can empower India to achieve its growth and developmentobjectives. The strategy has worked for Japan and several other countries across the globe, and is even more relevant today withtechnology is playing a much larger inbuilding smart cities a reality,” said Koichiro Koide, MD, NEC India.

In India, NEC is working with the central and state governments to understand the need of utilizing technology to tackle governance challenges and make a smart city safe. Today, NEC offers a variety of solutions including the biometrics, fingerprinting technology for police and forensics departments in India.

“NEC aims to bring global-scale offerings toIndia creating safer and secure cities that augment social infrastructure by means of ICT. We have been involved in various smart cityprojects across the world, including those in Singapore, Brazil, and Argentina. In India, we are working closely with the central and state governments and looking ways to convert these 100 cities into safer cities,” said Koide.

With more than 50% of the world population expected to live in urban cities by 2025. To handle such large-scale urbanisation, there is a need to find new ways to manage complexity, increase efficiency, reduce expenses and simultaneously improve quality of life. Hence the need is to build smart cities.

Koide highlighted, “In our view, we wantgovernment should focus more on safer andsmarter cities. We have intent to provide safe and comfortable cities and we are committed tosmart cities project. For that, we are investing into our production facility, entering into new areas like transportation and energy, creating resources and looking for alliances.”

At present, several states government are installing CCTV cameras to make cities like Mumbai and Delhi safer. According to NEC just installing cameras is not a solution, but itrequires more agility and software.

“We are working with the governments, and educating them beyond cameras on softwarelike facial recognition, intelligent tools and analytic. Our business domain covering entire ICT not only IT also have security and network, we have the entire portfolio to manage the safe cities. Moreover, we are bringing our global solutions to make contribution into this initiative,” he said.

NEC has more than 2000 resources for software and solution development in Bangalore and Chennai. NEC group has different subsidiaries for developing software and solutions around these new avenues.

Challenges in creating smart cities

The company feels that a true meaning of smart city means the city should be a pleasant place to live, work and visit. It is crucial that the city should not only attract people, but also retain them for a long time, be an efficient work place, be easy to commute and be elastic for expansion.

The biggest challenge is basic infrastructure development and winning the trust of investors so they invest in these 100 cities. As many companies are looking to participate, thegovernment should ensure that these investors feel secured and provide easy way of doing business. Other than that, connectivity is another big issue and there is an urgent to expand the networks.

The smart cities cannot be built in one night and it is a step by step process. It requires huge investment and budget for such cities infrastructure, but as per the government plans, it is not enough as it would only cover the cost of consulting and design plan.

NEC is of the opinion that because we follow the rule book, the process of procurement is very slow. The company has given representation for participating in Delhi and Mumbai safercities project, but not much progress has been done so far.

New Areas to Invest

Besides physical security, NEC is also looking at cyber security space. Last year, it has tied up with Interpol and Singapore government for creating the cyber security experts.

“We are looking to invest in cyber security domain. We will be opening a Cyber-Academy inIndia, as India lacks cyber security experts. We have specialized tools to take care of the outbound security information, which should not leak out on web servers. We will be buildingsimulation tools for such attacks. We are exploring partnership with government agency to make our solution ready for this opportunities,’ said Anurag Saxena, Strategy and BusinessDevelopment at NEC India.

The company is also bringing solutions in the areas of intelligent transportation and energy. Lastly, it will make fast deployment of Near Field Communication (NFC) across the nation.