The police car of the future, powered by Vodacom Business
Vodacom, in partnership with Samsung, has created the police car of the future. This next-generation police car, which uses fixed and mobile network infrastructure in conjunction with the latest hardware, is designed to showcase how innovation and technology can support the South African Police Service to provide the best possible service to the South African community.
The vehicle is on display during the 9th annual GovTech conference that runs from 2 - 5 November 2014 at the International Convention Centre in Durban.
Vuyani Jarana, chief officer at Vodacom Business said:
“Our key aim is to use mobile technology to address both the social and business challenges facing our customers. The next generation police car is a great example of exactly this – using technology for social good.
“The information that we’ll be able to put at the disposal of the police, combined with coordination from a centralised control centre, will mean a step change in capabilities. In short, the police will be able to do more, in less time and at a lower cost than ever before.”
Each vehicle includes cameras that are capable of number plate recognition. Connectivity is provided by LTE and 3G technology underpinned by Vodacom’s high speed fibre and microwave network. Information gathered by the cameras and shared via the mobile connection can be cross-referenced with databases such as those administered by the Department of Transport and the Department of Home Affairs. This would dramatically increase the ability of the police to detect criminals and react instantly. The equipment can also be fitted to existing vehicles.
The technology in each car will also make it possible for police officers to check ID numbers, drivers licences, outstanding fines and other information in a few seconds. Mobile printers will allow officers to issue infringement notices with information automatically populated from wirelessly linked databases. This should improve efficiency and reduce the chance of accidental errors.
The next generation police cars will be fitted with cameras, capable of sending video footage, voice communication, instant messages and other data to the command centre in real time. “This technology will empower the central command centre to make decisions based on relevant information in real time,” says Jarana.
Data captured by the hardware will be time-stamped and geo-tagged, helping to increase accountability and making monitoring easier for officers and management alike. All data sent between the vehicles and the control centre will also be encrypted, ensuring security. Furthermore, the central control facility will be able to monitor, activate and deactivate devices remotely.
The solution will be commercially available early next year. The hardware is modular, making it possible for parts of the solution to be rolled out to security companies, emergency medical services, cash in transit companies and other businesses that may need some – but not necessarily all – of the features.
Consumer electronics giant Samsung supplies the mobile devices for this solution. The range of compatible handsets and tablets is comprised of various products from the Galaxy range, including the Tab S, S5, Alpha and Samsung’s ruggedized device the Tab Active. Samsung is not only providing devices but will also deliver an end to end solution. Samsung’s Director of Enterprise Mobility, Paulo Ferreira says, “We are excited to partner with Vodacom on this initiative. We believe that by combining our technology offerings we are able to provide a solution to help our police force to provide the best service to the South African community.”
Jarana says similar solutions have already been successfully deployed in New Zealand and Italy with great success. He adds that Vodacom opted to partner with Samsung because they have demonstrated the capability to deliver industry solutions that match customer requirements. Samsung was therefore considered a perfect fit for this project.
Free on V2V: Virgin Mobile highlights the beauty of voice with free on-net calls
Virgin Mobile South Africa’s (VMSA) highly anticipated new product proposition offers free on-net calls to all its contract and prepaid customers.
After months of media speculation about the pioneering mobile virtual network operator’s (MVNO) next move, CEO Anton Landman revealed a new tiered offering, which will go live from 1 November 2014.
The proposition covers prepaid, post-paid and top-up contracts.
Post-paid and top-up deals include free Virgin to Virgin (V2V) minutes that are valid for calls made to other Virgin Mobile SA numbers. The monthly quantity equates to the subscription value of the contract, up to R499. On contract values over R499, subscribers get a flat 1000 free V2V minutes.
Virgin Mobile’s prepaid offering, V2V Booster, offers up to 100% back on the face value on recharge vouchers of R35 and more. So, for instance, vouchers of R35 to R49 include 35 free V2V minutes, and ones of R120 to R179 include 120 free V2V minutes.
Mobile as it should be
Landman explains the thinking behind the new offering. “We have set ourselves the target of one million subscribers in the next three years, and this is just one of the ways we intend achieving this,” he says.
“In a cluttered market where mobile operators fight for every inch of competitive advantage and the market is flooded with a myriad of complex offerings, there is little room for more of the same,” he says. “So we’re creating our own space in the industry with simple, high-value offerings that cannot be easily replicated.”
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This edition by Fred Felton