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

Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS for Alarm Companies on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jun 16, 2018
The last chance to save $50 on registration is this Thursday, June 21st. Register now and save. This is the only networking course designed...
Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jun 14, 2018
Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security Sales Course Summer...
Worst Features for Camera Installation (Statistics) on Jun 07, 2018
4 clear worst features for installing were identified by 140+ integrator respondents to: What feature(s) make a camera hard to install? The...
Top Features For Easy Camera Installation (Statistics) on Jun 05, 2018
Camera installation is the most fundamental and common task for video security technicians. Because of this, camera manufacturers market their...
Stats: IP Camera Dead On Arrival (DOA) Decline, Near Zero on Jun 01, 2018
New IPVM integrator statistics show that IP camera DoA rates have declined with zero dead on arrival units for many integrators and effectively...
Stats: Upgrading Cameras Far More Common Than Replacing Failed Cameras on May 30, 2018
The old saying "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" does not apply here. New IPVM statistics show that 60% of cameras that are replaced still work but...
Software Only VMS vs NVR Appliances on May 23, 2018
Should you buy your own PC/server and load VMS software on it or get a turnkey appliance (both hardware and software, e.g., NVR, Hybrid DVR) from a...
Buy Arecont: Top Bid $10 Million Cash on May 22, 2018
Last year, Arecont had a deal for a purchase price of $170 million (see Failed Arecont China Acquisition). This year, Arecont has a deal for a...
Best Manufacturer Technical Support 2018 on May 21, 2018
While 5 manufacturers made the worst technical support 2018 list, only 3 stood out as providing the best technical support to 190+ integrators in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

IFSEC Show Report - Live From London on Jun 19, 2018
IPVM is live from London reporting on the IFSEC show. The Chinese have taken over the UK, centered on Hikvision, flanked by Dahua, Huawei and a...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS for Alarm Companies on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
IPVM Vulnerability Scanner Released on Jun 18, 2018
IPVM is proud to announce video surveillance's first and only cybersecurity vulnerability scanner. This tool allows quickly and simply...
Hikvision Corrects False Cybersecurity Announcement on Jun 18, 2018
Hikvision has corrected a false cybersecurity announcement that claimed a British government-sponsored program endorsed the cybersecurity of...
July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jun 16, 2018
The last chance to save $50 on registration is this Thursday, June 21st. Register now and save. This is the only networking course designed...
The Dumb Ones: PSA's Bozeman On Cybersecurity on Jun 15, 2018
The smart ones are the hundred people who flew to Denver and spent $500+ on a 1.5-day conference featuring Dahua as a 'cyber responsible partner',...
Amazon Ring Launches $10 Monthly Professional Alarm Monitoring on Jun 15, 2018
Amazon's Ring has announced an alarm system with 24/7 professional alarm monitoring for $10 per month, a fraction of the $30+ per month traditional...
Axis Releases First New Access Controller In 5 Years (A1601) on Jun 15, 2018
It has been 5 years since Axis 2013 entry in the physical access control market, with the A1001 (IPVM test). Now, Axis has released its second...
Hikvision 12MP Fisheye Camera Tested (DS-2CD63C2F-IV) on Jun 14, 2018
Hikvision's DS-2CD63C2F-IV is their flagship panoramic camera, with a 12MP imager, 15m integrated IR, smart codec, and more. We tested the 63C2 in...
Four Major Outdoor Camera Install Problems on Jun 14, 2018
Over 140 integrators told us the top four camera installation mistakes that lead to unexpected problems and failures. Their comments often...

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