Maxima Telecom wins $13.5M contract for biometric cameras in Moscow

Moscow’s public Wi-Fi provider, Maxima Telecom, won earlier this month a $13.6 million contract for the installation of 2000 biometric cameras on the roads of the capital, according to Russian media reports. 

The contract was completed with the Center for Traffic Management of Moscow. It aims to deploy a neural network in the capital that will receive data from cameras, record accidents, fires and other incidents, and report them to services. 

The cameras will monitor objects, detect faces, and transmit a video stream to the servers of the city hall. 

The bid documents indicate that cameras will roll out in three stages, concluding in December 2023, and continuously transmit high-resolution 4K video streams. Those cameras are in addition to 3,600 traffic cameras operated by the Traffic Management Center. 

The Russian newspaper Kommersant highlighted that two more companies participated in the tender offered a reduction in price by $ 2.7 million but did not pass according to other criteria. 

However, Maxima Telecom declined to comment on the matter.  

This step is part of the country’s plan to equip a quarter of all carriages with an innovative face recognition system. The same system that was used in 2020 on the streets and in Moscow’s courtyards, to track the movements of people during quarantine.  

Earlier in January, the mayor of the capital, Sergei Sobyanin, promised that by September the surveillance system would include the metro as well. 

According to the state’s contract, the system allows the mayor’s office to receive information about the passengers’ gender, age, income level, and social status. This also includes detecting and decrypting passengers phone numbers and their contact list. 

It’s worth mentioning that according to the documentation published last year, the provider of data is Maxima Telecom. However, the company never mentioned its participation in the system or confirmed any relation to it.