Why cellular connectivity is the smart choice for video surveillance deployments
Businesses large and small rely on their CCTV systems to deter intruders and provide recorded evidence of security incidents. Over time, video surveillance has evolved to provide real-time intrusion detection and monitoring, and businesses now expect easy, secure, 24-hour access to cameras and data. For that, they need connected video surveillance systems. These modern facilities can benefit from cellular connectivity, helping businesses protect their sites, while also supporting enhanced capabilities for video surveillance to offer more. Widespread use of CCTV systems The use of CCTV cameras is so prevalent now that London, UK has more than 600,000 cameras, according to Surfshark, while IHS Markit expects more than one billion cameras will be operational worldwide by the end of 2021. CCTV is often at the heart of a company’s on-site security arrangements Video surveillance is often at the heart of a company’s on-site security arrangements. Yet despite this, traditional configurations fail to take advantage of all the capabilities that such physical security can provide. Real-time stream with anytime access Designated personnel must physically visit the premises to access CCTV video, when it is recorded and kept only on-site. This is a waste of precious time when a potential crime needs to be reported and investigated. In addition, it can endanger those who arrive first on the site, if intruders are still present. Today’s video surveillance installations can take full advantage of connected capabilities. They can provide real-time feeds, which authorized users can securely access from anywhere. This extends the security credentials of CCTV systems beyond just registration. Detected intrusions can trigger alerts and provide a real-time visual of what’s going on, so that required action can be taken. Of course, to realize these CCTV capabilities, the systems must be connected and use the right kind of connectivity. Connectivity must be resilient in order to provide continuous power even with the loss of a primary connection, secure to authorized users, scalable and cost effective. Traditionally, connectivity has come from wired connections and WiFi, but cellular connectivity now offers an attractive alternative. The Benefits of Cellular Connectivity There are several reasons for this. For starters, landline connectivity is not always available in all places. If the infrastructure is not there, especially at remote sites, cables must be laid. It’s expensive and it takes time. CCTV towers in the construction and building industry, for example, require CCTV that can be quickly deployed to areas that likely do not have landline connectivity. A cellular connection can be quickly established to set up a video surveillance system as quickly as possible. Relying on third-party infrastructure, such as landline networks, can also be a problem for video surveillance solution providers, as any policy change can make integration difficult. Problems that may require modification by the third-party network administrator may take longer to resolve, and if the fixed network goes down, there is usually no backup. Cellular connectivity provides end-to-end control Cellular connectivity, provided by a solution provider, gives end-to-end control of connectivity Cellular connectivity, provided by a solution provider, gives end-to-end control of connectivity. In the rare event that something is wrong, the solution provider can handle a resolution quickly. When a number of sites are involved, cellular connectivity can provide a single solution, simplifying the overall management of the entire installed video surveillance system and reducing the total cost of ownership of the connectivity. Single Connectivity Management Platform With a single connectivity management platform, organizations can oversee the entire security installation, view and manage data usage, and use the information to help to decision making, as security needs evolve. This brings us to the fourth benefit – The ability to grow easily. This may be because additional cameras are required at a site or additional sites need to be supported. It could even be because the CCTV installation is being upgraded to support additional capacity. Simple plug-and-play to bring cameras online safely Whatever the reason, being able to quickly deploy connections to a range of locations will be essential for existing and new installations. Ideally, connectivity should be possible within days, and end users should be able to just plug in and play to get their cameras securely online. Resilience is the next factor to consider. Pre-configured routers or SIM cards built into cameras can reconnect to the most readily available alternative cellular network in the event of a network failure. In this way, cellular connectivity can be part of the business continuity options. In some cases, it can work with fixed line connections, as part of robust installations, which have built-in mitigation, in the event of failure of the main connections. The expansion of 4G and now 5G CCTV capabilities also, allows easy access and remote monitoring for 4G and now 5G CCTV applications as well, allows easy access and remote monitoring for CCTV applications. It can be deployed quickly, supports an “always-on” approach, and can deliver large volumes of data and images. Live video streams can be viewed by authorized users on any device and they can also receive alerts and notifications directly to their mobiles. The high speed, high bandwidth and lower latency of 5G connectivity also offers the possibility of improving the capabilities of the CCTV system, such as live stream analysis. This is ideal because it helps businesses rely on the primary function of security with, for example, occupancy monitoring. This has manifested itself a lot over the past 18+ months as businesses have had to worry more than ever about the occupancy rate of their buildings. ANPR in Crime Detection and Law Enforcement Retailers, on the other hand, have relied on the real-time nature of CCTV technology to monitor the number of customers in their stores, in line with guidelines from social distancing. Another CCTV application can be found with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) in crime detection and traffic law enforcement. Combined with software, the CCTV camera feed is used to help find and track vehicles for law enforcement or traffic monitoring. For most CCTV applications, the speed and features of 4G are more than enough. However, 5G is likely to lead to new applications and new ways to expand CCTV capabilities to benefit businesses. Video surveillance systems provide remote monitoring and high quality visuals. Once a single application is installed, video surveillance can provide only on-site recording capabilities. Now CCTV systems can support remote monitoring and better quality visuals. They can send alerts and back them up with access to real-time video feeds, so authorized users can assess a situation and take action quickly. These additional features support enhanced use cases for video surveillance. The data generated by video surveillance systems is valuable to businesses. Companies that capture and analyze data can take full advantage of its potential. Cellular connectivity provides a resilient and scalable way to connect one or more sites. Through a connectivity management platform, enterprises can consolidate CCTV connectivity, manage connections across networks and deployments.