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 [link no longer available]. 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...
Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

US Startup Fever Inspect Examined on Aug 03, 2020
Undoubtedly late to fever cameras, this US company, Fever Inspect, led by a...
NetApp Presents Hybrid Cloud Video Archive on May 11, 2020
NetApp presented its hybrid S3 cloud video archive at the April 2020 IPVM New...
FLIR Presents Dual Spectrum High Security Focused PTZ on May 01, 2020
FLIR presented its Elara DX-Series bispectral, visible and thermal, PTZ...
Oyla Presents Low-Cost 3D LIDAR Alternative Camera on Jun 23, 2020
Oyla presented its low-cost LIDAR alternative camera at the May 2020 IPVM...
Milestone Presents XProtect On AWS on May 04, 2020
Milestone presented its XProtect on AWS offering at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Verkada Speaks On Disrupting Security Sales Channel on Aug 28, 2020
Verkada's fast growth has taken the industry by storm and their enterprise...
YOLOv5 Released Amidst Controversy on Jul 27, 2020
YOLO has gained significant attention within video surveillance for its...
AndroVideo Presents Edge AI Face Recognition Cameras on Jun 26, 2020
AndroVideo presented its AI at the edge face recognition cameras at the May...
Density Presents Occupancy Monitoring For Coronavirus Protection on May 22, 2020
Density presented its cloud-based occupancy sensor to deal with Coronavirus...
World IEC Fever Screening Standards Explained on May 04, 2020
While 'fever detection' is new to most people, the technology has been...
FDA Defines Correct Operation of "Fever Cameras" on May 26, 2020
The US FDA has now defined the correct operation of "Thermal Imaging...
VSaaS 101 on Mar 25, 2020
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) is the common industry term for cloud...
Hanwha Presents AI Analytics and First 8K Camera on May 11, 2020
Hanwha presented their AI Analytics and the "Industry's First 8K" camera at...
China Dali Fever Cameras and Booming Sales Examined on Sep 11, 2020
Zhejiang Dali, one of China's original thermal technology developers, has...
Camect Presents Residential Market Smart NVR with AI Analytics on Aug 19, 2020
Camect presented its AI video analytics enhanced NVR at the May 2020 IPVM...

Recent Reports

FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...
Avigilon Elevated Temperature Detection Camera Tested on Sep 17, 2020
Avigilon has entered the temperature screening market with the release of...
Chilean Official Investigated for Motorola And Hikvision Contracts on Sep 17, 2020
A corruption investigation is underway in Chile after a crime prevention...
Huawei HiSilicon Production Shut Down on Sep 17, 2020
Huawei HiSilicon chips are no longer being manufactured or supplied to...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...
X.Labs Sues FLIR on Sep 16, 2020
X.Labs, the maker of Feevr, has sued FLIR, the publicly traded thermal...
Video Surveillance 101 September Course - Last Chance on Sep 16, 2020
Today is the last chance to sign up for the Fall Video Surveillance 101...
No Blackbody Mistake, Half Million Dollar, Hikvision Fever Camera System in Georgia on Sep 16, 2020
A Georgia school district touted buying Hikvision fever screening "about...
Costar Technologies / Arecont H1 2020 Financials Examined on Sep 16, 2020
Costar's financial results have been hit by the coronavirus with the company...
Startup Cawamo Presents Live Alerts With Edge AI and Cloud VMS on Sep 15, 2020
Cawamo, an Israeli edge-to-cloud analytics and VMS startup, presented its...