Urban Surveillance in Nairobi

Last November, the Metro Development Ministry launched the Nairobi Integrated Urban Surveillance System (IUSS) project. I’ve only recently taken a look at the RFP to get an idea of the solution’s design requirements and expectations. It’s a great start but falls short in one key area which I’ll touch on below.

First a little about the project. The idea is to add visual presence to Nairobi’s streets for safety and security purposes – particularly the crime prone areas – and to make traffic flow management smarter. The deployment will be carried out in (at least) two phases – the first involves design and implementation of a Video Surveillance solution and a Traffic Management solution, while the second adds on more “intelligence” to the platform through Facial Recognition and License Plate Recognition. Continue reading

In Kenya, Mobile Data is King

In fact, about 99% of all (actual) internet subscribers in the country get online via GPRS/EDGE and 3G on their mobile devices:

The distribution is lop-sided with the vast majority of these users being Safaricom subscribers, although it should be noted they did have a 7 year lead on the other mobile service providers to lay out their infrastructure and sign up eager customers:

Bharti Airtel will likely gain market share once they begin offering 3G data connectivity in March and with their Sh1/min promotional tariff offering, that’s riling up Safaricom’s chief, they’re bound to sign up quite a few new and disgruntled subscribers. Continue reading