Wireless Surveillance Market Size and Growth

By John Honovich, Published on Feb 06, 2012

Our recent wireless surveillance usage statistics demonstrated that an extremely low percentage of cameras used wireless networks. This was surprising to many, even somewhat to ourselves, given the level of marketing expenditure and promotion that wireless companies have spent in the last decade. To that end, a member asked, "Does this mean that companies like fluidmesh, firetide, etc are wasting their time marketing to this industry?" This is an interesting question that taps into the overall health and size of the wireless surveillance market.

The Market's Size

We estimate that the market for wireless equipment used in surveillance applications is between $75 and $150 million. Here we are only measuring the wireless nodes themselves, not the cameras being transmitted wirelessly. Measuring it precisely is very difficult because it is quite hard to determine the specific applications wireless equipment is being used in. However, given the small size of the wireless vendors marketing to surveillance and the small percentage of cameras using wireless (in our survey, between 2 and 3%), it is not feasible that the market is much bigger than that range. As a sense of comparison, the market for video surveillance overall is typically estimated in the $10 Billion range making wireless equipment about 1% of the overall market.

Firetide, Fluidmesh, etc.

A market of $100 million is not huge but it is certainly plenty big for companies making appropriate investments. The big challenge is spending too much. Firetide is the poster child for this, having raised over $50 million in VC funding. Raising tens of millions is fine if you can generate revenue of hundreds of millions. Raising $50 million in VC funding and then doing annual revenue in the few tens of millions is not viable to justify investment and specifically the valuation necessary to generate appropriate returns. To that end, Firetide has made clear that they are targeting other markets outside of surveillance, a move we see as necessary to generate the appropriate levels to meet their valuation/investment.

The Ubiquiti Effect

Outside of the market being small, the other problem for the few mainstream wireless video surveillance equipment providers has become Ubiquiti. As we have examined previously, Ubiquiti has crashed wireless prices, which has been great (and profitable) for them but is killing the incumbent wireless market. On the plus side, Ubiquiti has become the clear wireless favorite of surveillance integrators and is helping to grow the small market of wireless surveillance.

Wireless Use Constraints

Ultimately, this begs the question: "Why aren't people using more wireless?" If people used more of it, say on 25% of their cameras, the market could increase by 10x creating a billion dollar market.

The challenges are:

  • Wireless is a lot harder to set up than wired networks, taking significantly more time and skill for the same length 'run'. Most importantly, the challenge in dealing with obstacles to wireless transmissions.
  • Wireless is a lot less reliable than wired networks, creates more service calls and system downtime. [Note: I am assuming unlicensed commercial links which is what is overwhelmingly used.] Here's a list of common wireless field problems.

Indeed, in the last few years, neither of these issues has substantially improved. Only two material improvements have occured: Bandwidth availability has increased to the point where it has become more than enough for surveillance and Ubiquiti has dropped the price point from $1,000+ per link to $200 per link.

The low price point is a significant market shift and it does remove one of the traditional barriers. However, the other two, installation difficulty and reliability issues, will not be solved any time soon (note: whitespace wireless surveillance is really interesting but is a high end niche space).

Market Growth

The good news is that the use of wireless will grow moderately as IP cameras make it easier to use and lower cost options make it more economical. The bad news is that major barriers remain and incumbent vendors will continue to be pressured and marginalized into niche projects by super low cost vendors like Ubiquiti.

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

2020 Video Surveillance Cameras State Of The Market on Jan 03, 2020
Each year, IPVM explains the main advances and changes for video surveillance...
Injes Tiny Temperature Terminal Tested on Jul 17, 2020
While temperature terminals have trended bigger, the Injes DFace801 is...
Cisco Acquiring Fluidmesh on Apr 09, 2020
Cisco announced it is acquiring niche wireless manufacturer...
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Directory of 97 Video Surveillance Startups on May 20, 2020
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see...
Open vs End-to-End Systems: Integrator Statistics 2019 on Nov 11, 2019
Preference for open systems is on the decline, according to new IPVM...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
Video Surveillance History on May 06, 2020
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going...
Integrated IR Camera Usage Statistics 2019 on Oct 21, 2019
Virtually every IP camera now comes with integrated IR but how many actually...
Budget Covert Cameras Tested on Nov 26, 2019
Covert cameras under $100 are widely available online but are they any...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative....
Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in...
Directory Of 150 Video Analytics Suppliers on Dec 17, 2019
This directory provides a list of video analytics providers to help you see...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Bandwidth Fundamentals For Video Surveillance on Jan 13, 2020
Bandwidth is the most fundamental element of computer networking for video...

Recent Reports

Panasonic Presents i-PRO Cameras and Video Analytics on Oct 19, 2020
Panasonic presented its i-PRO X-Series cameras and AI video analytics at the...
Augmented Reality (AR) Cameras From Hikvision and Dahua Examined on Oct 19, 2020
Hikvision, Dahua, and other China companies are marketing augmented reality...
18 TB Video Surveillance Drives (WD and Seagate) on Oct 19, 2020
Both Seagate and Western Digital recently announced 18TB hard drives...
Watrix Gait Recognition Profile on Oct 16, 2020
Watrix is the world's only gait recognition surveillance provider IPVM has...
Intel Presents Edge-to-Cloud Ecosystem for Video Analytics on Oct 16, 2020
Intel presented its processors and software toolkit for computer vision at...
Best Manufacturer Technical Support 2020 on Oct 16, 2020
5 manufacturers stood out as providing the best technical support to ~200...
Microsoft Azure Presents Live Video Analytics on Oct 15, 2020
Microsoft Azure presented its Live Video Analytics offering at the September...
Worst Manufacturer Technical Support 2020 on Oct 15, 2020
4 manufacturers stood out as providing the worst technical support to ~200...
Clorox Announces, Then Pulls, Fever Camera on Oct 15, 2020
For almost one week, Clorox was marketing fever cameras. The booming...
Faulty Hikvision Fever Cam Setup at Mexico City Basilica and Cathedral on Oct 14, 2020
Donated Hikvision fever cameras (claiming screening of 1,800 people/min. with...
Directory of 209 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Oct 14, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Avigilon UMD / UAD Tested on Oct 14, 2020
Avigilon's Unusual Activity Detection and Unusual Motion Detection claim to...
Longse Promoting Hikvision Partner Fullhan Chip Based Cameras on Oct 14, 2020
With Huawei HiSilicon production being shut down at TSMC, camera...
Meridian & Goodview (BEMS Relabeller) Temperature Screening Tested on Oct 13, 2020
A lot of temperature tablets look exactly alike and that is because they use...
Monitoring Alarm Systems From Home - Innovation or Danger? on Oct 13, 2020
Remote monitoring by alarm companies since COVID-19 is bringing cost savings...