NEC partners with Bristol to create the world’s first open programmable city

NEC partners with Bristol to create the world’s first open programmable city

NEC will provide insights, expertise and ICT technologies to enable UK city to develop a wide range of smarter transport, environmental, health and community services.

NEC Corporation today announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner with Bristol Is Open, a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, in an ambitious project to create the world’s first open, programmable city to support creation of innovative new smart services for citizens, business and academia.

NEC is already working with Bristol to virtualise and converge a new high capacity wireless and optical network to support a wider diversity of end-user needs in a highly efficient way. In the smart cities of the future, this is likely to include ultra-low latency connectivity for driverless cars, kilobits per second connectivity for M2M sensors to monitor the health of citizens with long-term chronic conditions, hundred megabits per second for ultra high definition TV broadcasts and terabits per second data transfers for collaborative R&D programmes between global universities.

Paul Wilson, Managing Director, Bristol Is Open, commented:

“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. We’re excited about all the possibilities to give the people of Bristol more ability to interact, work and play with their city.”

New services and applications will be trialled on the Bristol Is Open network platform as virtual tenants on pooled servers, eliminating stranded capacity and over-utilised bottlenecks commonly seen in data communication networks. Bristol will be able to create dynamic service chains to enable traffic to take the best path through the network depending on real-time demand and the specific requirements of each smart city service. By being able to easily up-scale and hibernate centralised server resources, Bristol will also be able to minimise energy usage and costs while maximising system resilience.

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.”

Bristol is the eighth most populous city in the UK and the second largest in the south after London. It’s a creative hub – home to TV production companies, including the BBC’s natural history unit and animators such as Aardman, and has the largest number of digital technology employees in the UK outside of London. The city also hosts sizeable aerospace, defence, low-carbon technology, financial services, micro-electronics and silicon design industries and a cargo port. Bristol is the European Green Capital for 2015 and home to the Playable Cities movement.
More about the Open Programmable City:

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