On our way to building smart residentials

Smart solutions in these changing times

ON July 1,2016, Bangladesh was thrown into a state of lockdown following a terrorist attack at the Holey Artisan restaurant in Dhaka. On April 21,2019, on Easter Sunday, Colombo city was rocked by bomb attacks in three prominent hotels and three churches, which led to a national emergency lockdown.

Both incidents brought nations to a grinding halt in every aspect whilst people were sequestered in their homes for safety. I was right there in both Dhaka and Colombo during these national crises lockdowns which lasted weeks and took months for society to return to normalcy. During this period, mobile usage skyrocketed, Internet and telephony traffic was abuzz, online commerce saw a sharp spike in activity and the concentration was in residential areas.

What parallels can we draw from this new unfamiliar form of terror with a deadly virus forcing national lockdowns?

Once sprawling dense urban areas became deafeningly silent whilst residential areas experienced typhoon-like surges of activity. Business intelligences (BI) point to a seismic shift in network traffic patterns, with exponential growth of demand in residential localities to exponential drop of demands in “high value” densely populated facilities. Radio planners and BI teams studying network traffic usage and predictive analytics are struggling without reference points to predict the new patterns of mobile traffic.

In the aftermath of a lockdown and in the journey towards a new way of life with social distancing and working or learning from home, citizens and businesses often look to government authorities as a pillar of stability and guidance, for a sense of comfort and assurance that their safety and income will be secure. How can governments better prepare themselves in the face of such an onslaught? And do smart infrastructure solutions have a role to play?

Smart infrastructure solutions have a huge potential in enhancing residents’ protection. It also has a significant role to play in the new normal business reinvention and students’ education continuity programmes. Working from home and home-based learning means we require the same quality of Internet and data throughputs at home as we did in our offices and learning institutions. Policies enabling rapid deployment approvals and reduced infrastructure costs by means of optimised sharing of assets will accelerate the needs of our society in our behavioural shift to becoming more home-centric.

Smart surveillance can also be a tremendous tool in providing insights into real-time public behaviour, activities and gatherings pertinent to form the intelligence as part of a nation’s effort to fight the spread of an infectious disease, traffic management and even crime.

Smart shared antennas and small cell solutions cater for the fastest and best capacity for residential high speed networking and connectivity, enabling multiple users and devices to enjoy best quality online service for working, learning, socialising, browsing and even gaming simultaneously!

Smart infrastructure solutions are a reality today in many cities around the world, Malaysian cities included. The time has come for smart solutions to benefit homes everywhere in Malaysia, right now.

As the fight against this new form of threat to the public establishes a new culture, this new normal which we keep talking about isn’t really all that new when we think about it. We are merely going back to the days of yore, culturally. Families gathering and having meals together, playing games together, doing own home chores and more work at home. These are all the same old constants, and the only change is technology; the fundamental difference being today we are connected globally by just being at home. We can connect via video calls with friends, family and colleagues from thousands of miles away and as the new normal gets more embedded as part of our daily lives, we will continue to spend more time at home whilst being connected everywhere all the time.

The residential transformation meeting this new normal is seamless connectivity, which is made possible by a robust, shared, quickly deployable telecommunications infrastructure. Having reliable mobile networks with high speeds and low latency like 5G technology is crucial in facilitating the drive of next-generation applications such as robotics, automation, autonomous machines and transport systems, enhanced virtual enterprises and communities, among others, and gets even more accelerated whilst we work, learn and play from home.

Darryll Sinnappa is CEO of Naza CommunicationsDarryll Sinnappa is CEO of Naza Communications

Understanding that public safety does not rest solely on the shoulders of governments alone, this is where I believe Naza Communications can play a key role in the development of smart infrastructures for smart residential transformation.

Naza Communications has partnered with appropriate authorities in Malaysia to implement smart street structures which can serve both as smart urban connectivity systems as well catering for security, surveillance and media capabilities. Blending seamlessly with surrounding urban aesthetics, these smart solutions can be extended to other types of camouflaged structures and any form of street furniture. Naza Communications has the expertise and capabilities and we are ready to engage more municipalities, local and state governments to share our experience and to provide the ecosystem required to address the shift in demand and population needs.

Malaysia is in a unique position today to form strong collaborations and partnerships to kickstart the nation’s economy whilst supporting residential and urban connectivity to meet the demands of our new normal.

Naza Communications is a specialised telecommunications infrastructure company and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Naza Corporation Holdings. One of the nation’s fastest growing integrated telecommunications infrastructure providers, Naza Communications works with an extensive list of network operators, equipment vendors and government regulators to help drive a connected Malaysia.

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