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Bristol Is Open strikes double deal for smart city tech



Agreements with Nokia and Zeetta Networks extend technology capabilities for trials and ‘experimentation-as-a-service’

The Bristol Is Open programme has gathered more steam with agreements with Nokia and Zeetta Networks to work on networking technologies to support its smart city initiatives.

The joint venture between the city council and the University of Bristol has formed a partnership with Nokia to test new capabilities, and signed up to use Zeetta’s NetOS system to manage its infrastructure.

Nokia will contribute a combination of funding, technical staff expertise from its Nokia Bell Labs, using the existing infrastructure of Bristol Is Open and laying the groundwork for a series of technology trials.

It is planning to begin work in the autumn with a project covering video analytics of Bristol’s 1,700 CCTV cameras.

It already has connections with academics and technologists in the city, and has been working with the university for a number of years.

Richer support

Joan A Garcia Espin, the platform delivery director for Bristol Is Open, said: “By working with Nokia we will continue to extend Bristol Is Open’s technology platform capabilities so that it will provide richer support to experiments aimed at finding solutions to urban issues such as traffic congestion, air pollution and even assisted living for an elderly population.”

The deal with Zeetta has come under its existing cooperation with the programme through joint participation in the Replicate Project, one of the largest for smart cities in Europe.

It will involve the company installing and maintaining its NetOS system, which comprises a vendor agnostic software defined networking (SDN) controller with a built-in virtualisation engine. This can support optical, packet, wireless and internet of things (IoT) networks, and will make it possible for the programme to run “experimentation-as-a-service”, with service providers being able to use portions of Bristol Is Open’s physical network to develop applications.

More capabilities

Barney Smith, chief executive officer of Bristol Is Open, said: “Having Zeetta Networks’ technology as part of the Bristol Is Open platform will consolidate and extend the capabilities that we presently offer our partners. 

“Their technology is pioneering in the world of SDN and NFV (network functions virtualisation) technology and we look forward to working with the team and Bristol Is Open ecosystem partners to further develop the Bristol Is Open network along with city applications with our experimenters and commercial partners.” 

The programme was launched in February of last year, making a fibre optic and wireless network available to test smart city technologies. Among the initiatives to emerge have been the creation of a software applications store and plans for an operations centre to go live next year.

Image from iStock

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