4G Mobile / Wireless: Possibilities and Problems

By: John Honovich, Published on Jul 19, 2010

Advances in broadband wireless are promoted as major factors in the growth of remote/mobile video surveillance recording and monitoring. However, we believe that service provider restrictions will remain major barriers to the use of the technologies in video surveillance.

For background, review a July 2010 case for positive potential of 4G wireless for video surveillance [link no longer available]. Basically, lot of providers are rolling out much higher speed services which should make it easier for using video surveillance over the newer networks.

We remain skeptical about the viability for video surveillance use, likely for monitoring and almost certainly for recording.

The key problem is that such applications are extremely unprofitable for service providers. The business model for shared telecommunication networks (like mobile) are similiar to buffets or health clubs - they assume moderate rates of use so that they can sell more capacity than is used at any given time (in networking jargon, called statistical multiplexing). The systems are not designed technically nor economically to support always on applications such as streaming continuous video surveillance.

A few months ago during a LinkedIn discussion on this point (see Mobile access debate [link no longer available]), we researched and found almost every provider has the following clause:

"The Unlimited plan: [Provider] reserves the right, at our sole discretion to deny, terminate, modify, disconnect or suspend service if ... engages in the following prohibited uses: server devices or host computer applications, including, but not limited to, disproportionate Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections."

We do not believe this is a formality or an outlier. For instance, why dis AT&T kill their unlimited data plan [link no longer available]? That was driven by the iPad. Why do you think they won't allow videoconferencing on the new iPhone 4? Both of these uses are far less bandwidth intensive than 24/7 video surveillance.

We do believe there will be some benefit for periodic remote monitoring and periodic transfers/recording. However, continuous use of video surveillance for relatively low, unlimited plans is doubtful for, at least, the near future.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

2020 Camera Book Released on Jan 10, 2020
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
2020 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 06, 2020
The new IP Networking Book 2020 is a 280 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems,...
Solink Raises $12 Million - Company Profile on Feb 12, 2019
Most industry professionals have never heard of Solink, a company whose tagline is: It's time to revolutionize the way business uses...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
Closed Cloud Cameras Trashed on May 13, 2019
When you buy a camera, do you own it? Not anymore. In the world of closed cloud cameras, you may think you are buying a camera but all you are...
'CCTV' Is the Past, Cloud Video Surveillance Is the Future on Jul 08, 2019
A fundamental shift is happening. For decades, video surveillance was overwhelmingly 'closed' and off the Internet. This is changing. More and more...
Proactive CCTV "Only Affordable Video Archiving Solution" Profile on Aug 12, 2019
Proactive CCTV is claiming to offer "the only affordable video archiving solution on the market", reducing the storage typically required for H.265...
Axis Suffers Outage, Provides Postmortem on Aug 15, 2019
This week, Axis suffered an outage impacting their website and cloud services. Inside this note, we examined what happened, what was impacted...
Vunetrix Health Monitoring Company Profile on Nov 26, 2019
Vunetrix boasts that they make the integrators the 'HERO' by using Vunetrix's monitoring. We spoke to Vunetrix to better understand their...
Video Surveillance 101 Course Opened on Dec 12, 2019
IPVM is adding a Video Surveillance 101 course, designed to help those new to the industry to quickly understand the most important terms,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

"Hikvision Football Arena" Lithuania Causes Controversy on Jan 24, 2020
Controversy has arisen in Lithuania over Hikvision becoming a soccer team's top sponsor and gaining naming rights to their arena, with one local MP...
Axis and Genetec Drop IFSEC 2020 on Jan 23, 2020
Two of the best-known video surveillance manufacturers are dropping IFSEC International 2020, joining Milestone who dropped IFSEC in 2019. The...
Multipoint Door Lock Tutorial on Jan 23, 2020
Despite widespread use, locked doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and thousands can be misspent on locks that leave doors quite...
Avigilon Shifts Cloud Strategy - Merges Blue and ACC on Jan 23, 2020
Avigilon is shifting its cloud strategy, phasing out its Blue web-managed surveillance platform as a stand-alone brand and merging it with its ACC...
Verkada Paying $100 For Referrals Just To Demo on Jan 22, 2020
Some companies pay for referrals when the referral becomes a customer. Verkada is taking it to the next level - paying $100 referrals fees simply...
Camera Analytics Shootout 2020 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Jan 22, 2020
Analytics are hot again, thanks to a slew of AI-powered cameras, but whose analytics really work? And how do these new smart cameras compare to top...
Intersec 2020 Final Show Report on Jan 21, 2020
IPVM spent all 3 days at the Intersec 2020 show interviewing various companies and finding key trends. We cover: Middle East Enterprise...
Vehicle & Long Range Access Reader Tutorial on Jan 21, 2020
One of the classic challenges for access control are parking lots and garages, where the user's credential is far from the reader. With modern...
Clearview AI Alarm - NY Times Report Says "Might End Privacy" on Jan 20, 2020
Over the weekend, the NY Times released a report titled "The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It" about a company named...
Favorite Camera Manufacturers 2020 on Jan 20, 2020
The past 2 years of US bans and sanctions have shaken the video surveillance industry but what impact would this have on integrators' favorite...