SA riots attest to communication as key


SA Hytera Pty Ltd Managing Director, Mark Zheng

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE recent unrest in South Africa is a stark reminder that physical security barriers are not always enough to protect lives and assets.

This is according to an executive in the communications technologies and solutions sector following the incidents that cost businesses billions worth of Rands across Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

Mark Zheng, managing director of SA Hytera Pty Ltd, said the damage and losses sustained during the unrest illustrated that multi-faceted safety and security models had to be deployed, and that communications underpin all risk management strategies.

“During the recent unrest, communications infrastructure was also
affected, with over 100 network towers reported to have been impacted,” he said.

“This hampers coordinated collaboration between joint task teams,” Zheng added.

He said to mitigate the risk of network outages hampering communications and incident response, it was important that a narrow band-broadband convergent network was considered.

The public long term evolution (LTE) network was not highly secure in the way the narrow-band network is while data transmission capacity of narrowband network is very limited, Zheng said.

“A convergent network is the best possible choice in case of emergency,” he explained.

Zheng said public safety, emergency services and disaster control
officials should be equipped with mission-critical communications
solutions, supported by a Central Command and Control facility with the capability to interconnect all communication platforms so that different departments such as Police and Emergency services can communicate with each other in joint operations.

The unrest in South Africa in July left over 300 people dead.

More than 3 000 were arrested.

– CAJ News


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