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 : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in...
Bandwidth Fundamentals For Video Surveillance on Jan 13, 2020
Bandwidth is the most fundamental element of computer networking for video...
Wireless / WiFi Access Lock Guide on Nov 12, 2019
For some access openings, running wires can add thousands in cost, and...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Cheap Camera Problems at Night on Feb 19, 2020
Cheap cameras generally have problems at night, despite the common perception...
AI Video Surveillance (Finally) Goes Mainstream In 2020 on Sep 03, 2019
While video surveillance analytics has been promoted, hyped and lamented for...
China's SMIC Hit By US Trade Restrictions, Impact On Video Surveillance on Oct 13, 2020
US trade restrictions have hit Semiconductor Manufacturing International...
China Enforces Barriers Against Foreign AI and VSaaS Providers on Sep 30, 2019
While AI and VSaaS is the future of video surveillance, these are obstructed...
Milestone Has Problems on Oct 01, 2019
Milestone has problems. While the company previously excelled in the shift to...
Access Control and Video Integration Statistics 2020 on Oct 08, 2020
Video Surveillance and Access Control are two of the most common security...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial...
NetApp Video Surveillance Profile on Mar 09, 2020
NetApp is increasing its efforts in video surveillance and told IPVM...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Mobile Access Control Guide on Aug 28, 2019
One of the biggest trends in access for the last few years has been the...
Quantum Dots Potential for Surveillance Cameras Explained on Sep 08, 2020
Quantum dots are starting to be used in TVs for better images, but how will...

Recent Reports

ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Avigilon Aggressive Trade-In Program Takes Aim At Competitors on Oct 20, 2020
Avigilon has launched one of the most aggressive trade-in programs the video...
Mexico Video Surveillance Market Overview 2020 on Oct 20, 2020
Despite being neighbors, there are key differences between the U.S. and...
Dahua Revenue Grows But Profits Down, Cause Unclear on Oct 20, 2020
While Dahua's overall revenue was up more than 12% in Q3 2020, a significant...
Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted on Oct 20, 2020
The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision...
Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic i-PRO presented its X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...