City Mesh Wireless Surveillance RFP Examined

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 26, 2011

In this update, we examine a US city's RFP for a city-wide video surveillance system including a public safety mesh network. The RFP includes a large list of performance specifications, with no specific products being mentioned, leaving the actual system design up to each individual respondant.  The municipality will then potentially create a “short list” which may require one week trials of systems to be installed at no charge.

Review the full video surveillance RFP document.

***'* ***** ******* *** ****’* ******* ****** *** *****:

  • *** ***** ************** ********** ** *** **** **** ******** ***** sites ********* **** *** ******** ************.
  • ********* ** **** ******* ************ ******* *** ********* ********** *** city.  *** ******* *** ******** ** * ***** ***, **** Pelco ****** (* ************ *****) **** *** ******* *** *******. Video ** ********** *** * “***-******** ****** *****”. ***** ******* shall ** ********** **** *** **** ******** *******.
  • *** **** ** ******* *** * ***** ******** ** *** wireless ******* ** ******* ******* ***: “***** ************, ******** ******** Infrastructure (***), ************ **** ** ****** ****** ********, ****** ******* agencies, *** ******, *-**** ******, *** ***** ******** ********* ************.”
  • "** ******** ** ****** *******, , *** ***** ******* **** must ******* ** ***** ** ************ ******* ********* ***** ******* the *******. *** ****** ******* **** **** ******* ** ***** 10 ************ ******* ********* * **** ******* *** *******. ***** cameras *** ** ********* ** *** ***** ****** *** ******* area, ******* **-** **** ***** ****** *****."
  • *** ******* ** ** ** ****** *********, ***** ********, *** resilient: "**** ************. ******** **** **** **.**% ************ ****** *** mesh ******* ******** ****. ***** ******** *** *********. ******** ********* ****-**** protection ** ******** ******, ********* ** *** ******** **** *** the ********** ** *** ***** *******. ************ *********. ****** ********** ******* local ************* ********** *** ********** *** ************." *** "****** ***** redundant ******** **** **% ** *** ******-**** ****** ******* **** can ** ********* ** * *** ** *** ******** ***** mesh ******* **** *** **% ** *** ******** ****** **** service ****"
  • “*** ******* ******* ***** ********* (***) ****** **** ** ******* of ********* * ******* ** *** ***** ******* ******* ****** any ********** ******** ******** ***/** ****** ******** *** *******. *** ********* system ***** ** ******* ** ********* *** ******* ** ** 30 **** ** ***** *** *** *******. *** ****** ***** also *********** * **** ******* ****** *** ******** ***-**** ******* of ***** **** *** ** ** ***** ******.”
  • *.* ***, *.* *** *** *.* *** ********* ****** *** allowed.
  • *********** ** ********* ** * **** (********** ********, *** *** surveillance ********) **** ** *****-***** ****** ***’* *** ***’*.
  • ******** **********: "***-**-*** ********** ******* **** **** ********* ****** *** coverage ****; ************ ** ******** *** *** *************; ** *** reliability ****; ********** ** **** *** ******* ****-**** **********"

*** *** ** ***** *******, *** ********* ****-******* *** *****.  As ** *****, “*** ******* *** ****** ** **** ************ is ** ********* ********(*) **** ********* ********** *** *********** ******** or *********, ***** ******** ********* *** ************ ** *****, ****** into ************* *** ********** ******* *** ***** ** **** ***.”  Overall, *** ****’* ****** ** ****, *** **** ************ *** be ********* ** ****.

*** ************:

  • Well *******, **** ***: Unlike most RFPs we see, this document avoids the common problems of hard spec'ing, secretly requiring a specific product or asking for conflicting requirements. While the requirements are challenging, this is likely to be a fair bid.
  • Expensive ******* ******: With the extremely high reliability, redundancy and coverage requirements, this is going to be a very expensive, complex system to design and deploy. In wireless equipment cost alone, we would anticipate a few hundred thousand dollars cost assuming approximately $2,000 per mesh wireless node. In addition, the planning and on-site optimization will need to be extensive to overcome vegetation, buildings and other obstacles.
  • Good ********** *******: The city's plan to do a variety of tests over multiple weeks will put healthy pressure on vendors to ensure that the network is robust. While availability specifications are sometimes hard to prove up front (e.g., 99.99%), the validation / commissioning tests should help prove that the system is robust.
  • Multiple ************: The RFP states that the mesh network and associated backhaul to be built out as part of this project will be used not only for video surveillance, but for Advanced Metering Infrastructure and other services required by public agencies.  This is a good move on the City’s part, and extends the network’s usefulness, and provides them better return on investment.  We would guess that more grant funding would be available for networks serving multiple purposes, as well.
  • Old *********: The city would like to reuse whatever possible from their existing 28 camera locations. The current cameras, assuming they provide usable image quality, should be reusable via encoders. The existing encoder, the Pelco NET350, is discontinued, and not supported by all VMS’s. Integrators supplying Milestone, for example, would be at an advantage, since this encoder is supported by XProtect, and could be reused.
  • VMS ******/*******: Given the scalable nature of IP video, we question why the system should be licensed for a minimum of 100 cameras from the start.  By our count, there will be 38 cameras recorded during this phase (28 existing plus ten additional).  This seems an added up-front expense that is not required if they are not deploying 100 cameras immediately.  Additionally, storage costs could be drastically lowered by providing only the storage needed for the initial deployment.  Occasionally, however, front-loading costs in the initial phase is done simply because the money is available now, and given the volatile nature of funding for projects such as this, this may be a smart decision, if it is the case.
  • Bandwidth ********: The RFP states that the network should support a minimum of 1Mbps bandwidth per each camera.  It further goes on to state that cameras will be streaming MPEG-4 or H.264, 640x480 resolution, typically 8 IPS, with 30 IPS “burst speeds” required.  An 8 IPS MPEG-4 stream, by our calculations, may take 1Mbps or more, with 30 IPS streams coming in over 2Mbps.  This will lead to one of two problems: First, the link will simply not support the bandwidth required and frames will be dropped, or second, the integrator chosen will reduce the quality of camera streams to fit within the given parameters.
  • Imaging ***** ********: The RFP states: “For street and land cameras, Image quality should be high enough to be able to identify cars and personnel at distances up to 1,000 feet. For bridge and waterway cameras: Image quality should be high enough for monitoring the waterways both upstream and downstream for a minimum distance of at least .5 miles and a potential maximum distance of up to 2 miles.” As we found in our ****** "*** *** *** * *** ***?", ***** ** *** ******* ** ********* ******** ** ** greater **** ** ******** **.  ** ***** **** ************** *** unlikely ****** ***** ***’, *** ** **** * ****, **** monitoring-quality ***** ***** ** ********, ****** ** *** **** * subject ** *******.  ** ***** ** **** **** ** ******* these ******* *********, ***/**** *********** ******* ***** ** ******** (**** as ****** ******).  ***** ***** *** *********** ********** **** *** **** ****** movement *****.  *************, *** **** *** ** ********* **** ********* people *** **** ****** **** *********** ********** ****** (*.*., **'* a **** *** ****** **** *** ******* *** ***** ****, a ********, * **** ** *** **** *****, ***.).
  • Integration ** ***** ***** *******: The RFP provides a long list of integrations they would like, to be accomplished via software only.  The list includes GE, Exacq, Pelco, and Honeywell.  We know of no product currently supporting all of these recorders.  The most probable choice for this integration is a PSIM product, which would drive the cost of the project through the roof.  Additionally, while maintaining existing hardware is often seen as the least cost path to integration, it brings additional complications in the form of ongoing support and maintenance.  Attaching existing analog cameras to a new encoder is often a lower-cost method.
  • Backup ***** ************: No requirement is given for backup power of cameras or mesh equipment.  In the list of possible mesh node locations, it does list whether the location has existing UPS (presumably for traffic signal equipment).  Not all locations have this capability currently, and the lack of a requirement for backup power will leaves future equipment to be installed as part of this RFP susceptible to power failure. However, given the 99.99% general requirement, responders will essentially have to provide backup power to have any chance of delivering such high availability.
  • Vendor *********: The city has laid out a good framework for selection of vendors, including a possible one-week pilot program at no cost to them, from each of the “shortlisted” vendors.  This allows the city to get a better idea of what they will realistically see and how it will perform. Integrators may be wary of this practice, however, as it exposes certain intellectual property, and obviously requires a fair amount of labor on their part.
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Directory of Alarm Panel Manufacturers on Feb 16, 2017
Alarm panels are the central controller of intrusion systems. The following is a list of manufacturers of alarm panels. This directory only covers...
Customized Access Control Cans (Altronix Trove) on Feb 14, 2017
Access control installs typically require hanging at least two or three different enclosure cans, each holding individual parts.  Open wall space...
Arecont Vision MicroDome Duo Tested on Feb 14, 2017
Arecont Vision is back with another multi-head camera, this time thinking smaller with the MicroDome Duo, a two-imager model, with the tagline...
Hitachi Taking On Security Industry on Feb 09, 2017
Hitachi, bigger than Sony and Panasonic overall, with $89 billion USD 2016 total revenue, is expanding into the security industry. They are...
Alarm Panels - Canned vs Integrated on Feb 07, 2017
Alarm control panels generally come in one of two types: Integrated alarm controllers, with controls and the keypad in the same...
Veracity Acquires PSIM Manufacturer on Feb 03, 2017
Most well-known for their Ethernet extenders, with their own video surveillance storage offering, Veracity has now acquired a PSIM. UK-based...
5 Most Common PoE Questions on Feb 02, 2017
In our IPVM IP Networking course, Power Over Ethernet (PoE) is a core component that students show significant interest in. The top ones...
LAST DAY - Camera Course Winter 2017 on Feb 02, 2017
[NOTE: Today, Thursday is the last day to register.] Learn video surveillance and get certified. IPVM provides live online classes, recorded...
Tyco DSC PowerSeries Neo Intrusion Tested on Jan 30, 2017
Tyco's intrusion system line, DSC, is one of the most widely installed brands. Their primary intrusion panel series, PowerSeries Neo, is...
Startup Targets Rapid Deployment Cameras on Jan 27, 2017
Easy to deploy "wire free" cameras have been a goal of the security industry for some time. Manufacturers, such as Micropower, have tried, and...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Simplisafe is 'Blowing The Doors Off' on Feb 17, 2017
The company alarm dealers love to hate, Simplisafe, is 'blowing the doors off' according to Michael Barnes, one of the top financial advisors in...
Hikvision OEM DDNS Devices To 'Lose Remote Access' on Feb 17, 2017
The fallout of Hikvision's DDNS discontinuation is expanding, this time hitting OEM partner Supercircuits, who reports that on June 30th: The...
Milestone: "Easy Money Days Are Over" on Feb 17, 2017
Contrary to IPVM's criticisms, Milestone has reaffirmed that glory days remain. But they admit that they 'easy money days are over': Are the...
Directory of Alarm Panel Manufacturers on Feb 16, 2017
Alarm panels are the central controller of intrusion systems. The following is a list of manufacturers of alarm panels. This directory only covers...
Panasonic Favorability Results on Feb 16, 2017
Panasonic is one of the largest brands in the world and a long term provider of both video surveillance imagers and cameras. But, like all...
China Huawei Gives France Free City Surveillance on Feb 16, 2017
China is using its financial resources again, this time in France, just a month after the Chinese government funded a $100 million security /...
Hikvision Silicon Valley and Canada R&D Expansion on Feb 15, 2017
After massive growth in their sales team, Hikvision is now planning to add two new R&D centers in North America. In this report we examine...
Directory Of Wholesale Central Station Monitoring Providers on Feb 15, 2017
Wholesale central stations help smaller and local dealers providing monitoring to their customers. Dozens of options exist.  Below is the first...
Bosch/Genetec Video Cybersecurity Partnership Examined (CHAVE) on Feb 15, 2017
Surveillance products have been relatively weak when it comes to cyber security. Default passwords, open ports, and weak authentication mechanisms...
Security Alarm Industry Trends - Barnes on Feb 14, 2017
This is a review of key security alarm industry trends, taken from Michael Barnes' presentation at the 2017 Barnes Buchanan conference. Key trends...

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