'Bristol is Open' picks new network partners

by Paul Cooper |



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Bristol is Open picks new network partners to enhance smart city

Nokia and Zeetta Networks sign on to support the University of Bristol and Bristol Council’s smart city project, Bristol is Open

This article was first published in Computer Weekly on Oct. 13, 2016


Bristol is Open – the joint smart city project run by the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council – has signed partnerships with Nokia and Zeetta Networks as it continues to build out its citywide, open programmable network.

Nokia will work with the university to trial, test and demonstrate new and emerging capabilities on the network, while Zeetta will deploy its NetOS SDN controller, opening up the network to outside developers.

“We have chosen Bristol is Open because through the university it has an advanced understanding of programmable networks and the technology involved in the smart city of the future, while through the council it has a proven track record of demonstrating social innovation using new forms of digital connectivity,” said Nokia UK and Ireland head Cormac Whelan.

“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.”

The Finnish supplier – which is a significant local employer and has a long-standing relationship with the university – will contribute funding, technical staff and Bell Labs (acquired via Alcatel-Lucent) resource to the project, setting the groundwork to support trials of Nokia’s next-generation networking technology at scale.

Its involvement will commence in the next few weeks, and Nokia will be firstly looking at video analytics from Bristol’s 1,700 device CCTV network.

“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 assisted living for an elderly population,” said Joan Garcia Espin, Bristol is Open platform delivery director.


Zeetta’s involvement, meanwhile, will mark one of the first times open networking technologies have been deployed to orchestrate a smart city network anywhere in the world.


The supplier will install, maintain and support its NetOS product on the Bristol is Open network, providing a multi-tenant, multi-technology software platform to enable what it terms experimentation-as-a-service.

Its network provisioning capabilities will let service providers and developer ecosystem partners acquire on-demand ‘slices’ of the physical network to develop their own applications and services.

CEO Vassilis Seferidis said the partnership would allow Zeetta and Bristol is Open to explore new business models for how public-private partnerships could work with open technology platforms to make more efficient use of city resources and infrastructure.