Busted - Wireless Surveillance Sales

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 14, 2013

"Boom Times Ahead for Wireless Video Surveillance," blares a trade magazine. Ironically, the underlying stats show the opposite - a bust for wireless surveillance. Unfortunately, warped statistics, used to help buyers of these reports, paints a misleading picture. In this note, we break down the state of wireless surveillance, the problems it faces and its future growth prospects.

Doubling?

A recent report says that global wireless surveillance infrastructure sales are set to double by 2016. That sounds good abstractly but once you dig into the details, it is far less impressive and even a bit depressing. On an annual basis, the average growth rate projected is ~17% which is notably less than they project for IP cameras over a similar time period.

Here's the raw data. Look closely at this because it reveals a very peculiar assumption:

When you map out the year over year growth rate, it shows very weak actual growth last year but continuously accelerating projected growth rates for the next 5 years. Here's our breakdown of the numbers:

While current achieved growth is an anemic 11%, by 2017, the annual growth rate will somehow nearly double to 21.3%.

Either this is a clever attempt to make a weak market look stronger or there is some compelling theory about why wireless growth rates are going to steadily accelerate throughout the decade.

Wireless Growth Drivers?

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

The report cites Asia as the growth driver noting the "lack of any existing wired surveillance infrastructure, combined with the low cost of wireless and the booming demand for security." Surveillance sales are clearly growing in Asia, but no one believes that they are accelerating at the rate assumed in these projections. Plus, given that Western sales are likely to remain below the global average, this means China would have to increase wireless surveillance purchases by 40%+ each year to deliver the 2016 or 2017 projections.

The same problems for wireless in the West will likely harm Asia. Wireless is far harder to deploy than wired networks and much more likely to fail. Can we presume that technicians in Asia will be much better at designing and deploying wireless systems than those in the West? This is necessary to justify the prediction.

No Wireless Surveillance Product Improvements

Wireless surveillance product improvements have ground to a halt. There is little, if any difference between today's products and those from three years ago. Investment in the space is non existent. The biggest wireless surveillance champion, Firetide, has rapidly retreated and is barely even heard from anymore. It is unreasonable to assume accelerating growth for a product category with historical flawed performance unless the technology is improving; But it is not.

Wireless Shift Last Few Years

The biggest shift in wireless surveillance in the last few years has been the emergence of the sub $100 wireless node market, pioneered by Ubiquiti. Prior to that, wireless surveillance offerings were typically 5x or more expensive. This really helped expand wireless surveillance use, and now Ubiquiti is by far the most commonly used offering in IPVM integrator survey of wireless surveillance. Though Ubiquiti has been embroiled in a massive counterfeiting problem, their product approach continues and is becoming the norm for point to point wireless connections.

Ironically, the IHS report lists Cisco as the top vendor in the wireless surveillance market. This might be but only because the rankings are done on pure revenue and Cisco per unit cost is ~10x that of Ubiquiti. However, on a unit basis, it is no contest. Moreover, identifying what percentage of Cisco or Ubiquiti nodes are used for surveillance is very hard considering their use in various applications without any clear delineation.

Wireless Future

Wireless should match the pattern of IP camera growth as IP is an enabler of wireless. Plus, sub $100 wireless nodes will expand use, if not overall revenue generation.

However, the big shift we see in the next 5 years is cellular plus edge storage. Both technologies are improving rapidly and naturally complement each other. Cellular eliminates the cost, complexity and risk of building one's own wireless network while edge storage eliminates the bandwidth demands for constant full streaming. While short, simple links will still benefit from using sub $100 wireless nodes and high security applications will want to build their own private wireless networks, cellular plus edge storage will arise as a critical alternative for projects in the middle.

Comments (4) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference 2018 Review - ADT, Resideo, Alarm.com, Arlo, Eagle Eye, ACRE, More on Dec 14, 2018
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference is an event matching industry executives with financiers that frequently leads to future funding...
Cisco Meraki New Cameras and AI Analytics on Dec 14, 2018
Meraki has released their second generation of video surveillance with 3 new cameras, AI-based video analytics, and 2 cloud-based storage...
Longse USA Profile on Nov 30, 2018
In September 2017, Longse bought and opened their USA office. As one of the largest South China surveillance manufacturers, they have previously...
Strong Outlook For 2019 on Nov 29, 2018
Integrators are bullish for 2019, with nearly 80% showing a positive outlook in our integrator results from 160+ respondents: This is almost...
Security Sales Course 2019 on Nov 29, 2018
The next IPVM Security Sales Course starts in January 2019. This sales course is customized for the needs and challenges specific to...
Vintra "AI-Powered" Video Analytics Startup Profile on Nov 27, 2018
Vintra is a Silicon Valley startup focused on AI-based video analytics. They had booths at IACP and ISC West demonstrating their hosted or...
Openpath Access Control Tested on Nov 20, 2018
Big investment in access startups is uncommon, but Openpath has recently attracted $20 million doing just that. The company has limited security...
Milestone Disrupts Milestone With Arcules on Nov 19, 2018
Milestone is now competing against... Milestone's own spinout Arcules. New IPVM testing shows that Arcules has incorporated a substantial amount...
Arcules Cloud VMS Tested on Nov 19, 2018
Arcules is a big bet, or as they describe themselves a 'bold company', spun out and backed by Milestone and Canon.  But how good is Arcules cloud...
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference 2018 Review - ADT, Resideo, Alarm.com, Arlo, Eagle Eye, ACRE, More on Dec 14, 2018
Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference is an event matching industry executives with financiers that frequently leads to future funding...
Cisco Meraki New Cameras and AI Analytics on Dec 14, 2018
Meraki has released their second generation of video surveillance with 3 new cameras, AI-based video analytics, and 2 cloud-based storage...
Foolish Strategy: OEMing Facial Recognition on Dec 13, 2018
Almost as 'hot' as face recognition marketing right now is OEMing facial recognition. Last year, they were a who's who of company's with...
DVR Examiner - Video Recovery from Recorder Hard Drives on Dec 13, 2018
Bypassing passwords and long download times on-site, DVR Examiner collects and organizes video evidence directly from a hard drive extracted from...
2019 Access Control Book Released on Dec 12, 2018
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
Huawei Hisilicon Quietly Powering Tens of Millions of Western IoT Devices on Dec 12, 2018
Huawei Hisilicon chips are powering, at least, tens of millions of Western IoT devices, such as IP cameras and surveillance recorders, a fact that...
FLIR Launches Body Cameras Unified With VMS (TruWitness) on Dec 11, 2018
While FLIR is best known for their thermal cameras, now they have expanded into body cameras, launching TruWITNESS, a public safety focused body...
Startup Sunflower Labs' Autonomous Drone Security System on Dec 11, 2018
Startup Sunflower Labs is claiming a unique design on a home security system, combining autonomous drones and 'Sunflower' sensors. Imagine an...
The 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 10, 2018
The 300 page, 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covers the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
Multi-Factor Access Control Authentication Guide on Dec 10, 2018
Can a stranger use your credentials? One of the oldest problems facing access control is making credentials as easy to use as keys, but restricting...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact