With the global population sitting comfortably at 7.6 billion people and set to skyrocket within the next 10 years, major cities are bursting at the seams with more and more inhabitants. The U.K. alone is set to see an extra 5.2 million city dwellers by 2037. However, with this consistent rise in population comes the increased requirement for robust and reliable infrastructures needed to keep up with demands for public safety, especially in the current climate of insecurity in many western European countries.
Keeping up with such demands is no simple task. Cities all over the world are now faced with mission-critical decisions when it comes to selecting and deploying the best available and future-proofed infrastructure to create truly safe environments for its citizens and communities.
Governments can no longer rely on outdated legacy networks, which are proving to be more unreliable as they become older and costlier to maintain. Protecting and modernizing such digital platforms has become paramount for any local and national government. For example, in 2017, Pakistan had to deal with a major digital catastrophe when it lost internet connectivity across the country due to one of its main submarine fiber-optic networks being accidentally damaged, while in South Africa, the municipality of Newcastle learned the hard way when its previous digital connectivity infrastructure was seriously damaged by lightning. Outages such as these can be the difference between life and death, especially when it comes to ensuring continuity for everyday business transactions and the safety of people.
Wireless deployments, when used with high-resolution cameras for CCTV applications, are today providing more eyes on the ground than ever before. Simple enough to deploy and highly cost-effective when compared to cabled alternatives, they are the way of the future and are proving to be a great asset for law enforcement agencies and governments as they address public safety concerns. Whether the technology is installed in a bustling metropolitan city or in a small rural town, local authorities want to monitor their communities 24/7 to prevent street crime and violence, as well as be able to provide courts with solid convicting evidence when required — ultimately, protecting their citizens and assets. A high-capacity wireless infrastructure perfectly facilitates this.
Reliable and vandal-proof wireless solutions, operating in a range of frequency bands, can today be used for deploying complete networks within a metropolitan area. Since they are fully scalable and are not restricted by the number of locations to be monitored, wireless networks are able to support high-definition pictures and videos and do not suffer through busy periods. They deliver critical data in a real-time manner, allowing operational security teams to remotely and dynamically monitor all activities in and around their areas of concern, and ultimately keep people safe and prevent crime and trafficking of all types.
To efficiently monitor a city’s vast number of remote locations, transmitting high-definition video streams matters a great deal. While many assume the only way to get super-fast speeds is to install a fiber-based infrastructure, that is simply not the case. Fiber is not always a perfect solution, as it can actually slow down signal propagation and potentially suffer from accidental damage. It is also costly and time-consuming to deploy, especially if fitted in a jam-packed city.
Wireless is a fast, easy-to-install and affordable alternative, as evidenced by the thousands of mission-critical networks already deployed in all corners of the world. Many wireless networks have even been designed not only to provide the operators with the ability to carry video streams generated by high-resolution cameras, but also to enable them to deliver other applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP), traffic management information, digital street signage, etc. Whether deployed in straightforward line-of-sight (LOS) conditions, or with major obstacles along the way (non-line-of-sight or NLOS), modern wireless solutions can be designed to deliver a fail-proof and robust infrastructure, capable of operating seamlessly in the most extreme environmental conditions.
Wireless CCTV in practice
Wireless CCTV has been making waves across the globe. Just to name a few significant examples, a wireless network was recently implemented in Bojaca, a town in western Colombia, when the government realized that it needed to manage its fight against rising crime — something it struggled to do previously due to its inadequate existing network of fiber-optic cables. With the implementation of a robust Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint wireless infrastructure, not only can Bojaca police now monitor every square meter of their town and prevent crime from occurring, they are also able to dispatch the nearest officers, allowing police to convict more criminals than ever before.
Similarly, across the globe in eastern Romania, the municipality of Galati wanted to increase its crime protection and the safety of its citizens. To do this, it needed to facilitate a large number of vehicles passing through its streets and intersections and rapidly manage traffic incidents. A wireless infrastructure was implemented, and Galati has today become a much safer place, allowing street-level video monitoring of 36 zones in the city. Video streams and all types of data from the remote traffic control sensors and units are now transmitted dynamically through the wireless platform to the traffic control center, enabling Galati to monitor its citizens in public areas to ensure their safety. Traffic management, pollution reduction and loss of time when stuck in traffic jams have also become much more efficient thanks to the software platform used to synchronize and control traffic lights, causing road congestion in the city to considerably decline.
CCTV is one of the best possible deterrents a city can have. Coupled with vandal-proof wireless networks, this technology allows law enforcement officers to stop thieves before they have turned a corner or foil a robbery before the criminals have even worked out their getaway route. CCTV has become one of the most crucial aspects of any serious homeland security strategy, with the latest advances in cameras, analytics and wireless technology providing the best possible solution for protecting communities. Wireless is today able to deliver high-resolution video streams, and is reliable, robust and easily overcomes the challenges often experienced when deploying a wired network.
Kamal Mokrani is the global VP at InfiNet Wireless.
Filed Under: Infrastructure