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 (5): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Wireless Burglar Alarm Sensors Guide on Jul 21, 2017
Wireless sensors for burglar alarm sensors are an increasingly common option for the historical labor intensive wired alarm systems. However,...
Competing Against ADT on Jul 20, 2017
ADT is one of the biggest players in the security industry, with ~$4 billion revenue. In 2017, they were acquired / merged with Protection...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide on Jul 19, 2017
This 120 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It covers our 20 manufacturer favorability rankings and 20 manufacturer...
Hikvision Distributor Says Hikvision "Top Rated Yet Most Hated" on Jul 12, 2017
The CEO of 2M Solutions, a distributor selling Hikvision cameras under their own as well as Hikvision's brand has publicly declared Hikvision to be...
Nest Cam IQ Tested on Jul 10, 2017
Nest has released their latest entry in their camera line, the Nest Cam IQ, touting 4K "Supersight", facial recognition, "HD audio", invisible IR,...
Security Trade Magazine Readership Statistics on Jul 10, 2017
150 IPVM members reported how many and what security trade magazines they read, both in print and online. Here are the key findings: Most do...
Best Manufacturer Perks on Jul 07, 2017
A decade ago, the best manufacturer perk was likely a trip on the Pelco jet: But the Pelco jet is long, long, long gone. What types of perks...
Smoke Detectors Guide on Jul 06, 2017
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors add a life-safety component to burglar alarm systems. As intrusion detection sensors are used to...
"The Armed Robbery Epidemic" - NRF on Jul 06, 2017
The National Retail Federation (NRF) Protect 2017 featured a session titled: "The Armed Robbery Epidemic: How to Stay Safe". IPVM attended this...
Hikvision USA Hires VP of Business Development on Jul 05, 2017
Hikvision USA is expanding again, this time in its drive to move up market to larger integrators and end users. In this note, we analyze...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Competing Against ADT on Jul 20, 2017
ADT is one of the biggest players in the security industry, with ~$4 billion revenue. In 2017, they were acquired / merged with Protection...
Hikvision Launching Deep Learning Recorders on Jul 20, 2017
Hikvision has become a common choice for super low cost NVRs. Now, Hikvision is aiming to move up market, with deep learning NVRs that claim far...
PR Campaign Exploiting Manufacturer Cybersecurity on Jul 20, 2017
Manufacturers increasingly have a bulls-eye on their back. As cyber security solutions providers grow, they realize a great way to get publicity...
Axis Door Station Tested (A8105-E) on Jul 19, 2017
Axis continues their push into niche markets, especially audio, with network speakers, an IP horn, and video door stations. We bought and tested...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide on Jul 19, 2017
This 120 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It covers our 20 manufacturer favorability rankings and 20 manufacturer...
$8 Billion Utility Georgia Power Enters Surveillance Business Offering Avigilon And Genetec on Jul 19, 2017
Utilities are typically considered major customers of surveillance integrators but one utility, Georgia Power, with $8+ billion in annual revenue...
Knightscope Laughs off Robot Drowning on Jul 18, 2017
A day after a Knightscope robot drowned, Knightscope has issued an 'official statement' making fun of the issue: The implied message is that...
Microsoft Video AI Cloud Services Examined on Jul 18, 2017
Microsoft has released one of the most amazing video analytics marketing videos ever. In it, they detect oil spills, track individual people giving...
Hikvision USA Head of Cybersecurity Exits on Jul 18, 2017
Hikvision USA's Head of Cybersecurity has exited the company. In this note, we review the move, share Hikvision's feedback and examine the...
'Suicidal' Knightscope Robot Drowns on Jul 17, 2017
Knightscope continues its hyper growth, at least when it comes to controversy, this time with a 'suicidal' robot in Washington DC. And here is...

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