Security

Video surveillance drives wireless bandwidth boost

Ask Malcolm Gravette what is driving the need for more wireless bandwidth, and the systems application manager for ADT Security will tell you: It's megapixel video.

Gravette works for the federal systems division of ADT in Broken Arrow, Okla., where he helps install a variety of security systems in military bases, seaports and airports for federal agencies and defense branches.

For possible deployment in those settings, he will begin testing new point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio base stations from Proxim Wireless that would increase bandwidth capacity by five times over existing gear.

“The biggest driver of this need for more bandwidth is the growth in IP video, particularly megapixel video, which requires a big hit on bandwidth,” he said. Security experts want higher quality video because it is easier to search images, such as a vehicle in a landscape, captured on video from a distant security camera, he said.

Proxim's president, Pankaj Manglik, told Computerworld there has been an explosion of video over wireless networks, especially due to video surveillance needs.

Proxim today announced the Tsunami QB-8100 point-to-point radio for $6,599 and the Tsunami MP-8100 point-to-multipoint radion for $1,549. Both are available immediately with a data rate of 300 Mbit/sec, while they will be offered by the end of 2009 at 600 Mbit/sec., Manglik said.

Motorola Inc., Bridgewave Communications, Firetide Inc. and Gigabeam Corp. have some similar products to Proxim for backhaul wireless applications, analysts said. But Craig Mathias, an analyst at Farpoint Group, called the point-to-multipoint marketplace a “big, amorphous” area that vendors try to fill in a variety of ways. Cisco Systems Inc., for example, was active in the area at one time, but now provides WiMax gear that “could compete” with Proxim's, Mathias said.

Gravette predicts Proxim's latest gear would give ADT an effective bandwidth on a backhaul link of more than 100 Mbit/sec — five times what he gets from older Proxim gear now installed in many locations.

That capability means he can reduce the number of base station radios he needs to install. “Anytime I can increase capacity while reducing labor requirements, I'm happy,” he said.

Gravette has used Proxim for three years, saying it offers a greater range of products than competitors that can be used in various radio topologies. These include point-to-point, which can carry a data or voice signal across a bridge; point to multi-point, to connect one building to several; or a mesh topology for many redundant connections between buildings and surveillance cameras or other endpoints.

Proxim has been responsive when things have gone wrong in the past, Gravette said, adding that every technology he's used has experienced some kind of problem. “The only piece of gear I know that didn't have any problem was an anvil.”

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