Mesh Networking For Surveillance Takes Off--Updated

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Mesh networking is emerging as a favored architecture for wireless surveillance networks in urban areas, particularly in the Americas, according to new study.

In its report, "The America's Market for Wireless Infrastructure Used in Video Surveillance," U.K.-based IMS Research (no link to report) finds that the market for wireless mesh networks is growing faster than the overall market for video surveillance.

"Wireless mesh suits the city surveillance market very well, and works best where there's high density," said Niall Jenkins, senior market analyst at IMS Research and author of the report.


Jenkins said Motorola, Cisco Systems and Firetide topped the list terms of overall market share in the Americas for wireless systems used in surveillance. This market takes in mesh, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint. In a separate release, Firetide confirmed that IMS had ranked it third overall in the Americas and first in wireless mesh. Jenkins declined to elaborate further on vendor rankings nor on the size of the America's market. The combined Americas and Europe-Middle East-Asia (EMEA) market is estimated to be worth around $175 million in 2009, according to an IMS press release issued Sept. 13. In addition, IMS forecasts both the Americas and EMEA markets to grow at a rate approaching 20 percent in 2010. Other vendors include Fluidmesh and AvaLAN.
 
"Mesh technology is where the interest is," said Bo Larsson, president and CEO of Firetide. "In public safety it includes a lot of applications: video, sensors, streetlights, backhaul services and WiFi access."

Wireless networks also allow data to be routed to police cars, fire engines and ambulances as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and other homeland defense and security agencies, Larsson said. "If mobility is the choice, there's no way to go but mesh," he added

Visible trend

Suppliers of cameras and video management systems also report growing interest in mesh networking among their public sector customers.

"We are definitely seeing the transportation agencies, and in fact many other government customers, preparing for future mesh deployments," said Ted Bushnik, business leader, global transportation solutions, at March Networks. One of March Networks' U.S.-based transit customers, Bushnik said, envisions a time when its bus fleet will be part of a larger wireless city-wide surveillance solution, enabling police and other first responders to access real-time video captured by cameras mounted both inside and outside the buses in an emergency. "This agency is therefore selecting and installing video and communications systems able to support that concept," he said. "In the interim, the customer and many other transit agencies are already using more localized Wi-Fi networks to track vehicle location, speed, and in the case of security, save considerable resources downloading recorded video from the buses automatically or in the case of an incident."

"What you'll see eventually is cities deploying their own mesh networks and using that backbone to centrally monitor critical infrastructure--from airports and utilities to educational facilities-- and even selling WiFi to businesses and residents as a service. Mobile assets, such as bus and passenger rail fleets, will be part of that as well," Bushnik added.

Firetide, for its part, has deployed mesh networking for surveillance in Seoul, including the Seoul subway, the Mumbai Metro, and, most recently, Moreton Bay, Australia, which Firetide claims is the large municipal wireless video surveillance network on the island continent.

The network, funded by the Australian government's Safer Cities project, encompasses 50 square miles (130 square kilometers) and supports 50 outdoor Axis Communications P1344 high definition IP cameras through 42 outdoor mesh nodes. Milestone Systems is providing the video management software.

Expanding the line

Although mesh networking will remain Firetide's primary product offering, Larsson said the company was planning to introduce a line of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio systems, both to establish a presence in the low-end of the market and provide an opportunity for its reseller channel to cut its teeth on wireless technology, which can be challenging.

"We do what we can to train and certify [integrators] and get more people up to speed," said Larsson. The goal is to get more integrators and user familiar with wireless. "You can use these simpler topologies in video surveillance to connect a few cameras," he stated.

While mesh networks require a fair degree of radio engineering expertise to configure, point-to-point networks can be set-up with alignment tools, can self-configure and have built-in redundancy, Larsson said.


Mesh networking is emerging as a favored architecture for wireless surveillance networks in urban areas, particularly in the Americas, according to new study.

In its report, "The America's Market for Wireless Infrastructure Used in Video Surveillance," U.K.-based IMS Research (no link to report) finds that the market for wireless mesh networks is growing faster than the overall market for video surveillance.

"Wireless mesh suits the city surveillance market very well, and works best where there's high density," said Niall Jenkins, senior market analyst at IMS Research and author of the report.


Jenkins said Motorola, Cisco Systems and Firetide topped the list terms of overall market share in the Americas for wireless systems used in surveillance. This market takes in mesh, point-to-point and point-to-multipoint. In a separate release, Firetide confirmed that IMS had ranked it third overall in the Americas and first in wireless mesh. Jenkins declined to elaborate further on vendor rankings nor on the size of the America's market. The combined Americas and Europe-Middle East-Asia (EMEA) market is estimated to be worth around $175 million in 2009, according to an IMS press release issued Sept. 13. In addition, IMS forecasts both the Americas and EMEA markets to grow at a rate approaching 20 percent in 2010. Other vendors include Fluidmesh and AvaLAN.
 
"Mesh technology is where the interest is," said Bo Larsson, president and CEO of Firetide. "In public safety it includes a lot of applications: video, sensors, streetlights, backhaul services and WiFi access."

Wireless networks also allow data to be routed to police cars, fire engines and ambulances as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and other homeland defense and security agencies, Larsson said. "If mobility is the choice, there's no way to go but mesh," he added

Visible trend

Suppliers of cameras and video management systems also report growing interest in mesh networking among their public sector customers.

"We are definitely seeing the transportation agencies, and in fact many other government customers, preparing for future mesh deployments," said Ted Bushnik, business leader, global transportation solutions, at March Networks. One of March Networks' U.S.-based transit customers, Bushnik said, envisions a time when its bus fleet will be part of a larger wireless city-wide surveillance solution, enabling police and other first responders to access real-time video captured by cameras mounted both inside and outside the buses in an emergency. "This agency is therefore selecting and installing video and communications systems able to support that concept," he said. "In the interim, the customer and many other transit agencies are already using more localized Wi-Fi networks to track vehicle location, speed, and in the case of security, save considerable resources downloading recorded video from the buses automatically or in the case of an incident."

"What you'll see eventually is cities deploying their own mesh networks and using that backbone to centrally monitor critical infrastructure--from airports and utilities to educational facilities-- and even selling WiFi to businesses and residents as a service. Mobile assets, such as bus and passenger rail fleets, will be part of that as well," Bushnik added.

Firetide, for its part, has deployed mesh networking for surveillance in Seoul, including the Seoul subway, the Mumbai Metro, and, most recently, Moreton Bay, Australia, which Firetide claims is the large municipal wireless video surveillance network on the island continent.

The network, funded by the Australian government's Safer Cities project, encompasses 50 square miles (130 square kilometers) and supports 50 outdoor Axis Communications P1344 high definition IP cameras through 42 outdoor mesh nodes. Milestone Systems is providing the video management software.

Expanding the line

Although mesh networking will remain Firetide's primary product offering, Larsson said the company was planning to introduce a line of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio systems, both to establish a presence in the low-end of the market and provide an opportunity for its reseller channel to cut its teeth on wireless technology, which can be challenging.

"We do what we can to train and certify [integrators] and get more people up to speed," said Larsson. The goal is to get more integrators and user familiar with wireless. "You can use these simpler topologies in video surveillance to connect a few cameras," he stated.

While mesh networks require a fair degree of radio engineering expertise to configure, point-to-point networks can be set-up with alignment tools, can self-configure and have built-in redundancy, Larsson said.


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