Firetide Failing in Dallas

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Mar 11, 2012

While the City of Dallas is was a flagship 'win' for wireless mesh vendor Firetide, a recent RFP and numerous reports to IPVM indicate major problems for the system in Dallas. In this note, we examine what those problems are, the alternative solution the City of Dallas is now requesting and what this signals for the future of Firetide.

Background

Only a few years ago, the much ballyhooed City of Dallas municipal surveillance network was one of Firetide's star projects. This installation made its way to marketing campaigns, press releases, case study, and even a pre-show ASIS tour in 2010. It was a flagship site for mesh network technology, and Firetide's future in the space.

Dallas Expansion RFP

Now, in March 2012, the City of Dallas has issued an RFP for approximately 300 additional cameras. Most interestingly, the RFP makes no mention of expanding the Firetide mesh. Instead, it describes backhaul being achieved via public 3G/4G cellular networks. Readers may see the RFP in its entirety for full details.

This diagram from the RFP shows the general layout of the network:

We have spoken to a number of parties involved with or having knowledge of the Dallas project who confirmed ongoing issues. Firetide radios in the city have reportedly had a high failure rate and bandwidth capacity is not up to promised levels.

However, Firetide responded that, "We have gone through and checked on the open tickets and support cases and we do not have any open issues with Dallas. So to the best of our knowledge, Dallas wireless network is stable and functional."

The Rise of Cellular

In 2012, with multiple carriers building out 4G networks, it makes less sense for public and private entities to build their own networks than ever before. Deployment is likely simpler and faster, with much less concern for antenna selection and wireless design. Cellular networks are also more likely have better uptime than most custom deployed wireless surveillance networks. National carriers are simply larger than local integrators, with more resources for servicing issues. Further, while the integrator will feel pressure from the end user if a wireless network goes down, carriers must deal with hundreds or thousands in the same area, which makes prompt response and repair more likely.

However, Firetide sees issues with using cellular in this application: "It is not likely that any solution besides wireless mesh will satisfy this because you cannot get HD quality video surveillance at 30 fps when vehicle in motion at high speeds with cellular. Cellular is ok for data connectivity but for real time video surveillance it still does not meet the HD video bandwidth (especially as network scales) and latency requirements for delay sensitive actions such as PTZ motions."

The Future of Firetide

Because of these improvements in cellular networks, providers such as Firetide, who typically have pursued high-end and mesh networks, are in an awkward position.

  • On the low end, wireless manufacturers such as Ubiquiti, are seeing increased use. With Ubiquiti's pricing a fraction of the cost of a Firetide link, and many integrators praise its performance, it is difficult to justify the cost of more expensive Firetide gear.
  • On the high end, where Firetide has historically had more success, we expect to see cellular making inroads as 4G networks are built out throughout the country, and speeds increased.

Both of these changes in the market will squeeze Firetide, who need to differentiate themselves and show real value, performance, and reliability to remain viable in the market.

1 report cite this report:

Major US City Satisfied With 20% Continuously Broken Cameras on Jul 20, 2016
Is 20% continuously broken cameras reasonable? Yes, it is, according to one major US city. In this note, we examine the city, the challenges...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Directory of 60 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...
Directory of 30+ VSaaS / Cloud Video Surveillance Providers on Jun 07, 2019
This directory provides a list of VSaaS / cloud video surveillance providers to help you see and research what options are available. 2019 State...
"New" Arecont Fixes Failures "Without A Fight" on Jun 05, 2019
The "old" Arecont was infamous not only for its camera failures but for making their "partners" fight to get them fixed. IPVM drew the ire of...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
Register Now - Fall 2019 IP Networking Course on May 02, 2019
Register for the Fall 2019 IP Networking Course. For early registration save $50 off the course's normal $299 price. This is the only networking...
IBM Shuts Down Intelligent Video Analytics on May 02, 2019
Abruptly, IBM has discontinued its Intelligent Video Analytics solution, it confirmed to IPVM. IBM's video analytics have faced recent media...
Verkada Wins $783,000 Memphis Deal on Apr 29, 2019
The US city, most famous in video surveillance for standardizing on Hikvision, has issued an RFQ for 962 Verkada cameras due Wednesday, May 1,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
Vivotek Trend Micro Cyber Security Camera App Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Vivotek and Trend Micro are claiming five million blocked attacks on IP cameras, with their jointly developed app for Vivotek cameras. This new...
Avigilon ACC7 VMS Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Avigilon's Control Center 7 boldly claims it will "transform live video monitoring" with the new Focus of Attention "AI-enabled" interface. We...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to emerging into an AI cloud era.  The goal of this history...
Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Anyvision Aims For 2022 Revenue of $1 Billion on Jul 17, 2019
Only 3 video surveillance manufacturers do a billion dollars or more in annual revenue - Hikvision, Dahua, and Axis. Now, Anyvision plans to join...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...

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