With a world-class IT infrastructure in place, Qatar has the capability to integrate manpower with high technology in security and other services, a top official of the Security Association Singapore (SAS) has said.
SAS president Raj Joshua Thomas was speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of a meeting earlier in the week in Doha between Qatar Chamber and a trade delegation from Singapore comprising seven companies specialising in security services.
“We brought Singaporean companies that represent the whole spectrum of security services from consultancy to main gathering, security systems, access control, and video analytics and CCTVs, as well as security training.
“We understand there are a lot of developments going on in Qatar from the free zones to large sports events, so we want to come in to see if our expertise would be of any interest and use to the Qatari companies and the government,” Thomas explained.
Thomas said Singapore is keen to explore the Qatari market not only because of the ongoing infrastructure development projects related to the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup but because Qatar has the IT and Internet infrastructure that could accommodate high-tech security services.
He said the companies in the delegation specialise in video analytics and security consultancy. They also offer threat vulnerability and risk assessment of security concerns and risks and how to mitigate them.
“The reason why we are very interested in Qatar is because it will support all these technologies that we want to put into the country. Ultimately, what we want is a completely integrated system where access control, CCTVs, and response teams are all connected remotely, so that they could respond to events and incidents very quickly, and this can be powered by a very strong IT infrastructure, which Qatar has,” he pointed out.
Asked about Qatar’s rollout of 5G networks across the country and its high Internet penetration and mobile use, Thomas said Internet infrastructure “is very important,” especially for security operations.
“Traditionally, the way security is done is with a security officer patrolling the premises. Now, we are moving away from that very quickly towards the integration of manpower and technology.
“And the way to integrate technology into an organisation’s operations is through a very strong IT and Internet infrastructure. So, if a country has 5G networks, it is easy, for example, to get CCTV footage from one location to a control room where there could be video analytics, allowing immediate response to a certain situation,” he explained.
Asked if Qatar’s IT infrastructure could replicate Singapore’s achievements in autonomous technology, such as the launch of public trial of driverless buses earlier this week (August 26), Thomas said “it is only a matter of time” when most countries would adopt this technology.
“Singapore is looking at putting it out quite quickly; I think we have a two or three-year development horizon and I think countries like Qatar would definitely be at the forefront of taking up these technologies.
“The road infrastructure in both Singapore and Qatar is very, very good; there is not much congestion and there is a good traffic system, so in order to put an autonomous vehicle, I think it is easier for our type of road infrastructure,” he said.