Bristol’s smart city ambitions have been given a major boost by Finnish tech giant Nokia.

It has announced it will work with the ‘Bristol Is Open’ project on networking technologies to support initiatives to make the city smarter.

Communications and information technology company Nokia is a world leader in programmable networks, 5G and Internet of Things technologies. 

It is forming a new partnership with Bristol Is Open to trial, test and demonstrate new and emerging capabilities on the project’s city-scale digital research and development network.

Bristol Is Open is an ambitious joint venture between the University of Bristol and the South West city’s council.

Its aim is to create a “truly open programmable city” harnessing smart technologies and digital connectivity to meet the community’s environmental, social and economic challenges - as well as maximising its opportunities.

The project is investigating how big data can be used to solve problems such as air pollution and traffic congestion and help in areas such as assisted living for the elderly.

Nokia is contributing a combination of funding, technical staff and Nokia Bell Labs expertise to Bristol Is Open, which is using the city as a test bed for innovation.

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Clifton Suspension Bridge

Cormac Whelan, Head of UK and Ireland at Nokia, said: “The combination of ‘how’ and ‘why’ to build a smart city that we see in Bristol is very appealing and we are delighted to join the Bristol Is Open project as a long-term partner.”

Nokia’s involvement will begin with it looking at video analytics from Bristol’s CCTV system, which consists of more than 1,700 cameras.

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Joan A Garcia Espin, 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.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Nokia on their range of applications for Bristol Is Open’s experimental platform.”

Zeetta Networks, a spin-out company from the city’s university that develops and offers open networking solutions, has also signed up to Bristol’s smart city project.

Its involvement will allow the initiative to explore new business models on how public-private partnerships can work together with open technology platforms “for an efficient use and monetisation of city resources and infrastructure.”

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