Infrastructure security has become a priority for Russia as it seeks to bridge the technology gap to other international markets.
The Russian security market is approaching a stage of significant investment due to the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the FIFA 2018 World Cup. According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, these two sporting events, which are set to provide the country with global exposure, will also serve to drive security expenditure, both at the stadiums and more widely across infrastructure. There is a growing need for new technology and integrated solutions, and although there are several strong Russian firms with local networks and technical capability, there are also opportunities for international suppliers, suggests the business consultancy.
LTE networks acting as drivers
The Frost & Sullivan analysts believe that these upcoming events could prove to be a real catalyst for larger urban security (‘Safe City’) deployments as part of Russia’s overall modernisation programme. Other cities are likely to follow the example of Sochi, the Russia coastal resort which is taking the opportunity provided by the Winter Olympics to bring its IT and communications infrastructure up to date and improve security throughout the city. The combined spend on infrastructure for the events is set to total $626.2 billion. Following the example of Moscow, the priority – for Sochi and other cities – should be given to improving LTE mobile communications networks, securing commercial and bank premises, plus investment in public services such as hospitals and educational establishments.
Border security a central concern
Securing land borders and upgrading obsolete physical security arrangements with advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies will also be a focus for investment. This will include radar, unmanned aircraft, surveillance cameras and night vision technology. According to Steven Webb, Vice-President, Aerospace, Defence & Security at Frost & Sullivan, the Russian authorities are attempting to utilise biometrics to secure borders, following the first step of introducing electronic passports, which include fingerprint data, in 2012. International firms looking to gain a foothold in the market should seek to establish strong relationships with local Russian security integrators, who come in two distinct types: IT/telecommunications integrators that focus on a much broader offering than just security, including enterprise solutions such as contact centres, IP telephony and data storage; and the more classic security integrators, explains Steven Webb.