IP Video Surveillance implementation faces bandwidth challenge!

Video surveillance is not only proving extremely beneficial to just secure immovable assets, but is also helping in protecting lives when a wide variety of evolving technologies get combined.

Therefore, in recent years, there has been incredible growth in the video surveillance market with law enforcement agencies, municipalities and transportation centers embracing surveillance technology to enhance security and traffic monitoring across cities. This smart implementation has resulted in general public taking public transit without any security fears, making purchases at malls, parking their cars and frequenting areas that are well covered with security cameras.

The maturity of surveillance technology has evolved to such a level that its implementation has increased at ports, airports cities, transportation facilities, schools, hospitals, government and other critical environments located all over the world.

Technically speaking, for each of these markets one thing is common for sure and that is the security cameras need to capture, analyze and record videos. However, in order to achieve the desired results, surveillance systems must contain both hardware and software solutions coupled with a surveillance network, or physical infrastructure to carry video feeds from their point of origin to control rooms or command centers for 24/7 monitoring.

Here, connectivity can prove as a resource with two heads. It can act as a savior and can also prove as a demon. Here’s an explanation for it. In general, if network fails, data packets get lost in traffic and can put whole of the video surveillance concept in jeopardy. Therefore, to ensure the unfailing operation of these services, highly reliable, scalable, and easy-to-deploy networks must be in place.

Consequently, in order to stay on trend with the ongoing technological changes and demands of surveillance such as video analytics, High definition image quality and PTZ services, the need to install network components with greater adaptability proves crucial. This substantial growth requires surveillance networks to provide even more applications and greater bandwidth, and also to support additional law-enforcement authorities.

Solution architects are constantly seeking technologies to reliably transport ever-growing video data. Taking full advantage of the benefits provided by today’s technology, and tomorrow’s potential, will require making the right choices in the configuration of the network which happens to be the heart of surveillance systems.

Furthermore, surveillance networks typically have a longer life expectancy than the devices (cameras, radars) that connect to them. These facts irrefutably indicate the need for networks to be designed and built with the potential capacity of future; as much as a tenfold increase on the demand recognized today. At the same time, the design must be flexible enough to facilitate implementation of upgrades, and patches to existing technologies. This will play a key role in maintaining quality of services and a consistent supply of adequate bandwidth.

The other connectivity challenge is network congestion, when a link or node is carrying so much data that service of the carrier deteriorates. A fundamental problem is that all network resources are limited, including router processing time and link throughput. To ensure optimal utilization of new bandwidth intensive applications, while avoiding adverse effects on Quality of Service (QoS) caused by overwhelming capacity demands, transmission technology capabilities must improve.

Connectivity solutions also play a vital role in the success of a video surveillance project and below is a bit of explanation on it.

While laying a network for security cameras, selecting the means of connectivity will prove crucial and more vital for managing congestion. In today’s heavily utilized integrated networks, the wireless portion of the network often functions as a major performance bottleneck. When this occurs, quality of service deteriorates, and users experience problems such as queuing delays, packets loss and the blocking of new connections.

Several techniques may be used to transmit video feeds from cameras to monitors at command and control facilities. Selection of which video transmission method to use is often based upon a number of factors such as, cost, latency, location and distance of cameras to control rooms, existing available infrastructure, and of course, signal velocity (speed). There are two main technologies for transmitting video.

The first is wired which is often referred as most reliable as well. In the wired technology, copper, coax or fiber cables are used to transmit data. Fiber is often considered as a reliable solution because it transmits at high bandwidths and is immune to electro magnetic interference. Whereas, copper and coax cables provide moderate reliability by limit capacity.

Wireless technology, the second technology, relies upon either sub-6GHZ frequency or millimeter wave technology. Also known as Wi-Fi, 5GH or, sub-6GHz is a commonly deployed wireless solution, but growing congestion can hinder stability and speed of the connection. Millimeter wave technology (mmW) uses higher frequencies of 40GHz (most prevalent 60, 70/80GHz), and is considered to be a next generation solution offering reliability with excellent throughput speeds. It is the closest alternative to fiber available today.

Wi-Fi can also prove as a cost effective solution provided the security cameras are having the feature. This is because Wi-Fi is license free and there is no need to register or obtain permits from the government for the use of the spectrum. Even though these products are easy to use, market development has put a severe strain on the scalability of Wi-Fi solutions at both the access and aggregation network layers. As a result, today’s Wi-Fi is susceptible to security problems, bandwidth degradation, radio interference and also network latency. Many of these shortcomings are especially noticeable in surveillance networks, where critical voice delivery and constant, high bit rate video delivery applications are heavily at work. These systems lack the core capabilities to keep up with the exponential growth in capacity demand.

There is also another connectivity medium which is Millimeter Wave Wireless Technology which can prove as a reliable and cost effective solution. Because mmW technology provides extended capacity and diminished latency, it ensures that each camera receives the bandwidth necessary to deliver a constant, reliable video stream at the highest possible frame rate. This is of vital importance in securing train and bus stations, and other transportation depots. With ample frequencies available, it provides the widest and most unpopulated spectrum available today to facilitate bandwidth-rich, high capacity wireless connectivity.

It is notable that millimeter wave wireless technology solutions facilitate a forward-looking architecture and are significantly more modular than their market alternatives. Their flexible topology allows for impressively scalable configurations, as new small-cell nodes may be added with minimal backhaul planning. mmW solutions are exceptionally secure due to their essentially low beam widths, and relatively low radio transmits power; guaranteeing little probability of intercept and detection, which is vital for the transference of confidential material.

Using mmW wireless also provides additional benefits, including high-resolution camera support. A greater bandwidth (up to 2Gpbs) provides support to multiple multi-megapixel cameras operating at full frame rate. By using an uncongested spectrum, users are assured interference-free performance and bandwidth usage is optimized to enhance connection speed and QoS. The solution is scalable and supports simple bandwidth and deployment expansion in confined spaces, vital to the transportation market.


So, with almost all issues discussed, one thing is confirmed for sure and that is video surveillance networks are not only getting more intelligent and dynamic than ever before, but as smart as they might be. But with varied intelligence, the challenges are also getting proportionate. Video surveillance has extended from local surveillance to remote surveillance, from indoor places to outdoor places, and from office environments to production environments. These changes make it more difficult to adopt and utilize video surveillance services, as surveillance networks need to adapt to multiple new and complex scenarios.

The high cost of fiber and the need for flexible deployment options make wireless and other solutions very attractive for network operators. However, the vulnerabilities presented by Wi-Fi networks are becoming more and more evident, as surveillance solutions become more widely used and supplementary technology evolves.

Reliable network connectivity is crucial to the success of a network surveillance system, particularly for public transit. Today, people need wireless technology that is reliable and flexible, and that can leverage the components of an existing network, especially as the demand for surveillance systems bandwidth with greater transmission speeds continues to grow.

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