Do Any IP Cameras Support SIM Cards?


We are looking for a camera for a specific project... Does anyone know of an IP Camera (From a good manufacturer) that has:

- SIM Card (For 3g or 4g... but 3g would be enough)
- SD Card (For edge recording)
- Time synchronization with an NTP Server
- Dynamic DNS service (Don't have to be proprietary.. at least that can publish it's IP to any popular Dynamic DNS service...)

As you probably know yourself, the big big issue is SIM card support. I don't even know of any mainstream brand that offers this.

The upcoming Panasonic Cameramanager cloud camera will support 4G, though I don't know if it will work outside its own service.

Over the years, I vaguely recall a few smaller vendors with IP cameras offering integrated cellular, but it never seemed to catch on. It's disappointing too because I see the value in having that.

hum.. and the SIM card support is actually the most important thing for this... that is a pitty..

thanks for the answer

...though I don't know if it will work outside its own service.

Slashgear says no:

The UK and the Netherlands will get Nubo first, thanks to a deal with Vodafone; a new Panasonic M2M service with the carrier will mean connected gadgets like Nubo will be able to travel cross-Europe without incurring roaming charges, too. Availability in the US and rest of Europe isn’t expected until January or February of 2016, however, as Panasonic works on inking a deal with other carriers. There’ll be no unlocked option for users to put their own SIM in.

Fairly detailed article.

This Solution has advantages over Internal. Can connect multiple cameras wired or 2.4Ghz. You also have VPN, traffic shaping, etc on board. You can put it high up in a IP67/68 Plastic Box. Need USB Cell Dongle that holds SIM card.

DC, related where we discuss add-ons: Cellular/4G for IP Cameras

Over the years, Brickcom has produced a few models with SIM card slots. It looks like the 3MP bullet GOB-300Np Star is the only current model that supports it.

Good call, I forgot about them. Thanks.

Of course there are trailcams with sim cards such as Reconyx and HCO, but they are not IP cameras.

...but they are not IP cameras.

What kind of camera would you call them?

IMHO, I think they do qualify as IP cameras, since they have to digitize and encode the data to deliver to the SIM adapter.

Whether they are Video cameras is another question though. They rarely have frame rates of more than a couple per second, which is more like stop motion than true video.

Arecont might disagee...

IP or not, as you mention video is one major issue, the other is form factor.

Not many non-hunting customers want something this big:

For those interested, though, see Cellular Trail Camera

Let's not forget the Panasonic Nubo.

Not forgotten, mentioned above: "The upcoming Panasonic Cameramanager cloud camera will support 4G, though I don't know if it will work outside its own service."

Apologies, I actually forgot it was a Panasonic until posting it...

Here's the one I didn't post: (mainly because of its looks)

Also makes a nice covert screening room projection camera...;)

If the OP is interested in something more professional, they may want to look at the SeSys Torch:

A complete digital IP camera that is simple to install and use - just switch it on and the unit will automatically connect via the 3G/GPRS network. Comprising a high resolution IP camera, storage module, smart router, a standard mobile SIM card and a battery, it's ready to go!

  • Wireless digital IP camera in durable stainless steel housing
  • Integral SD card storage (up to 128GB)
  • 4G/3G/GPRS/Wi-Fi data communications
  • Cameras accessible anywhere via web browser or license free software

Cameras are Mobotix.

Good grief, those cameras are the size of a garbage can:

It appears that they are just stuffing the cellular router / device and other equipment inside the can / case.

Good grief, those cameras are the size of a garbage can.

A nine-inch tall garbage can, with a 6-inch hole?

The dimensions of the hemispheric are 229x169x244mm.

What are the size requirements? I didn't see any.

The OP states that they are trying to find a solution for a 'specific project'.

They also state that the SIM card support is the "most important thing for them." This has that plus all stated requirements.

How are you so sure that it can't be a solution?

Was this really wrong to even suggest to the OP?

Since we have already listed trailcams, why stop there...

I just wanted to emphasize the size, as it is a factor, especially when it is that big.

Also, I am not impressed when someone takes a COTS camera, sticks it in a can and puts it more COTS components. OP could do that with anything.

That is exactly what they do and then of course they program it so that it becomes plug n play when you apply power but they are just using COTS equipment and the cost is VERY high if you're an integrator trying to resell it. My suggestion is build it yourself. It's really not that hard to put it together and you'll save alot of money. We use a Dotworkz housing to "cram"it all into but recently added a NEMA box option that allows us to use other cameras that won't fit in Dotworkz housings, the NEMA box houses all the wifi, router etc extras.

Don't know of a decent camera with onboard cellular; here is a different outdoor cellular option for you. In the past I've used other 4G cellular routers to achieve the same in a NEMA 4X enclosure, but I have been itching to give this a shot since a large enclosure for network devices may not be necessary. You can set up the lan ports as POE, it's just an add-on.

If cellular is the route you go, I went the easier route and paid $500 to Verizon to get unlimited static IP addresses on one of our accounts. It costs a little up front, but then you don't have to deal with Dynamic DNS. Not sure if all carriers have a similar offering, Verizon was just the strongest in our area.

Moog/Videoalarm also makes a 3G/4G camera dome enclosure, though it's a bit bulky.

I'm not 100% sure the Liberty is still available. The last documentation of it is dated 2013 and searching for it on the Moog S3 site returns hardly anything. I'm going to email them and check on it.

Along with the Liberty dome, there was a "power box" version, which integrated a cell router into a NEMA box you could attach standard gooseneck/wall mounts to.

Hi, can you let me know what the application is, how will it be viewed. We have a partner who has developed a 1080P ONVIF camera that can be connected to a Huwaie 3531 Dongle and runs well over 3G. Take a look at


Duncan Ross

VisionOn Systems

Here in Canada, it is very difficult (impossible) to get a camera that would be compatible with the major carriers such as Bell, Telus or Rogers. Therefore, we would install such a camera using a mobile broadband modem supplied by one of these carriers.

This will also give you a much wider choice of cameras; you may choose the camera based on the specifications that you want and conect it to that modem. The modem works as a router as well, so you can do port forwarding.

Such a modem needs a fixed IP address by the carrier, no DDNS will work (at least here in Canada).

We have used Feeney Wireless kits in the past in conjunction with Edge Storage cameras (VideoIQ) with good results. They also have complete solutions that include WiFi so you can have multiple cameras talking WiFi to one of the cameras equipped with and AP and the 4G modem. The last solution increases the form factor on the enclosures though.

If manufacturers figured out that the camera CPUs have USB interfaces, and it's a small step to add a USB port on the device (if only pin strip not standard connector) then 3G, wifi, bluetooth, more storage, xyz generic USB devices could be plugged in.

So assume there are no market requirements for it yet in the camera.
Many embedded NVR's allow for it and have done for a long while.

Has anyone considered a smartphone, like the Galaxy 6* coupled with something like Milestone Video Push* ?

Smartphones have numerous choices for add-on lenses. Power requirements, esp. with the screen off, are low and COTS options exist for extended power. Waterproof Enclosures. Edge storage to 128GB.

*Among others

This is something I've worked on for years. I'm formerly a P.M. for both trail cameras and mobile DVRs that people want cellular remote view on. I've also built several custom cellular products, mostly for law enforcement.

You come into several different, complex issues.

First: Most of these products come from Asia, where the GSM bands are functionally different than they are in the USA. Second, traditional quad band GSM (which is 3G) in America is on it's way out. (as what happened with the old 800mhz analog bands a few years ago. Ask anyone who bought a mid 90s vehicle with Onstar).

Second: The frequences that we use in the USA for 4G (LTE, 700mhz) are not used any where else on earth, so Asia vendors don't make equipment that uses them. On top of that, with the FCC constantly creating and selling new frequency blocks, it's a nightmare to try to stay on top of those things. Think of how many different technologies have come out in the last 5 years. Clear Wire (remember that? 2100 mhz). LTE on 700mhz, 2400mhz.

On top of all of that, Verizon is very uptight about allowing things on their network, so even if someone did make a 700mhz LTE product, they would still have to get it approved and certified before it would even work on their system.

Reconyx makes a Verizon certified LTE trail camera, but it's very expensive.

'Lil Acorn' makes a GSM trail camera that works on T mobile and ATT GSM networks.... for now. Eventually those GSM networks are going to be shut down. Those GSM cameras functionally will not run on Sprint or Verzion because they are not GSM based.

Verizon using SIM cards for LTE has confused a lot of people. The SIM card that's in your Galaxy S5 right now won't do anything if you stick it into a Chinese GSM trail camera.

This is the same problem with mobile DVRs, most of which are from Asia. Even though they may say that they have SIM cards, they are GSM based on bands that are iffy in the US at best. On top of that, they require some pretty odd ball back end servers to communicate (which you have to build) using some fairly old networking architecture from my experimentations.

Adding a USB port with the presumption that you will stick an aircard into it (which will allow you to upgrade as your carriers upgrade) is a great idea. However, the software devleopment team for that camera will have to stay on top of that constantly, as new aircards are coming out every month. Also, the camera will have to have an actual operating system in it to be able to detect that as a network device.

I worked for many years with a mobile DVR manufacture that did this. Their product had a USB port that would detect cellular aircards from Sprint and Verizon, but it was a constant challenge to add driver support for them as fast as new devices came out. They were not an Asian company, but they were also not based in the USA. So, I was their technical support for understanding the cellular network in America, and that can be a full time job.

On top of all of that, streamimg an IP camera is going to be a bandwidth hog and may max out even the best 4G signal on the best days. The mobile DVR mentioned above had a highly compressed H264 stream that I actually made work over a sat network link... but as you can imagine the video quality wasn't impressive.

Some pole mounted city wide camera systems that have embedded NVRs (I think GeoVision) in them will stream a low res secondary stream over cellular to a head end video wall at police headquarters, then if there is an event, they can go back and remotely extract the high res video after the fact.

The best solution right now is to use an external cellular router like a Sierra Raven X or CradlePoint. Both have hardened versions that are specifically designed for the carriers that you want to use. The down side? Additional current draw for remote applications and additional costs around $600. Also, you better have unlimited data on your rate plan because you're going to destroy your data cap in a matter of hours if you're anything over CIF at 5 FPS. There are a couple of low end consumer grade cellular routers (Peplink Pepwave Surf on the Go comes to mind) but their ability to stand up mechanically in a harsh, full time use environment is questionable to me at best.

Nice info.

The frequences that we use in the USA for 4G (LTE, 700mhz) are not used any where else on earth, so Asia vendors don't make equipment that uses them

So this usb stick thing here, $189. Says its 700Mhz. Whats you opinion of something like this: It may work, can't work or just won't work? Is it saying the right things at least?

The U.S. is a pretty big market for China, big enough that might make stuff that they don't use. Like NTSC equipment, for example.

"Also, you better have unlimited data on your rate plan because you're going to destroy your data cap in a matter of hours if you're anything over CIF at 5 FPS."

Scott, great comments all around, thanks.

Question on the data caps. How often have you seen carriers shut down video systems streaming over 4G? There's frequent debates over this risk but I am not sure how common this is. Any feedback would be appreciated.

"Also, you better have unlimited data on your rate plan because you're going to destroy your data cap in a matter of hours if you're anything over CIF at 5 FPS."

Are there even any truly unlimited data plans available anymore?

That's an even more complicated issue. The cellular carriers change their rate plans at will, so there might be an unlimited plan today that won't exist tomorrow.

Having said that, if you are dealing with Gov/Millitary/Law Enforcement customers, they usually have their own seperate rate plans that generally are un restricted and have static IP available (I know Verizon does)

We have been selling and supporting live IP camera systems with cellular comm for 7+ years. We cater to the mid to high end of the market, primarily those with the budget available that are looking for a ruggedized industrial grade live camera solution that delivers high image quality, functionality and performance in outdoor environments where the temperatures can be below zero and/or above 100 degrees F.
I don't think any camera manufacturer will offer a robust IP camera with 4G/LTE cellular built in that will meet the above requirements anytime in the near future.
note: a couple of the camera types mentioned above are not live cameras, Reconyx is a trail cam and the Eline SN2 is a relabeled Sensera Systems camera.
The reason most people want 4G/LTE cellular is because they have no option to connect a camera to a hardwired cable or DSL modem for internet service or no option to connect the camera via a point-to-point wireless link to an internet connection. Cellular camera systems are typically used at locations that lack some or all utilities infrastructure and are usually for outdoor use.
Our 4G/LTE camera systems are typically comprised of an IP camera, a 4G/LTE communications system installed into a NEMA 4X enclosure with 2 or 3 antennas and sometimes a solar electric power plant.
We usually use Mobotix cameras for cellular projects due to the high image quality and functionality built into these cameras that includes SD card for storage and time synchronization with an NTP Server. If PTZ cameras are required we use AXIS.
The camera is connected to the cellular router/NEMA enclosure with cat5e shielded cable. The camera may be mounted to the face of the NEMA enclosure that houses the cellular system or it may be mounted separately to a pole or wall.
We install a Cradlepoint cellular router into a NEMA 4X outdoor enclosure, along with the power converters required for 110V AC power or 12V DC power and the related hardware.
4G/LTE systems require dual antennas and a 3rd antenna if it's equipped with a wireless access point. For remote locations the paddle antennas that come with the cellular router may need to be replaced with high gain antennas for maximum signal strength.
4G/LTE systems require a static IP address, usually a $500 1 time fee from Verizon.
Our cost for the 4G/LTE hardware parts only is $1200+ when using Cradlepoint IBR1100 dual SIM ruggedized cellular router, SIM cards, dual high gain antennas, NEMA enclosure, power converters, cables, mounting brackets, cable glands fittings and misc parts. Plus Cradlepoint Enterprise Cloud manager and Cradlecare, $75 for 1 year.
Shop time labor to build this system, test and configure can add another $500 or more. We sell this portion of the system for about $3000 retail. The camera and other related hardware or services adds $2000 or more to the total price, depending on the camera model and other accessories required.
NEMA enclosure showing antennas:

Cradlepoint IBR1100 cellular router, front and rear, that is installed into the NEMA enclosure:

Mobotix M15 camera build in progress, with camera mounted to the face of NEMA enclosure:

Here's a link that shows this same Mobotix camera viewing a building under construction. This basic time lapse service from TimeCam.TV starts at $20 month. This camera is also delivering a live video feed for security purposes, via the 4G/LTE service.

Sensera Systems offers a line of "IP" camera that operate over cellular. Cameras are certified on ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile, Rogers. They offer onboard recording, still image capture, video streaming (H.264), and LiveView feature. Available with our cloud service for turn-key solution.