Nokia and BSNL have signed an exclusive memorandum through which they will jointly explore opportunities in facilitating public safety. Nokia will empower BSNL by playing the role of it’s Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM.

The joint venture forms part of the overarching smart city initiative that is being undertaken by the government of India.

As per the press release announcing the joint venture:

Often during a disaster situation communications networks can be hampered, impacting relief and rescue efforts. A reliable and robust LTE public safety system is therefore critical in these situations to aid public safety workers. Leveraging the Nokia ViTrust critical communications portfolio, in particular, the Nokia Ultra Compact Network, Nokia and BSNL will explore solutions that help first responders more swiftly locate people and assist affected communities.

The venture will leverage Nokia’s Ultra Compact Network, or UCN, and will enable first responders to disaster sites in their bid to set up mobile broadband networks at a rapid pace. These networks are essential as they will allow the transmission of large images and videos from on a real-time basis.

The two companies will also delve into enhancing public safety in domains such as Smart City deployment, border-related activities, and mines and quarries in remote areas with limited connectivity. The government is also planning to leverage this joint venture to establish networks for secure communication for ministers and officials.

Also in line is the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which will engage with the two companies so as to leverage the benefits of LTE technology in public safety communication systems. India still has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to advanced communication networks and this partnership has the potential to give those efforts a boost as well.

Speaking on the topic, Anupam Srivastava, Chairman and Managing Director at BSNL, said: 

As a trusted telecom service provider, BSNL is committed to providing the best technology solutions for public safety professionals. Our technology partnership with Nokia is a crucial step in this direction. We have a longstanding working relationship with Nokia, and this project starts a new chapter in our journey. Nokia’s innovation and leadership in mission-critical communications will allow us to deliver a best-in-class public safety network.

This commitment was reiterated by JP Singh, head of Nokia’s customer team for the Government Business in India, who said: 

We have been working closely with BSNL for more than 25 years and this agreement further strengthens our relationship. This is the first time our public safety solution will be used in India, and we are excited to leverage our ViTrust critical communications portfolio, working with BSNL to enhance public safety work and aid vital rescue operations.

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