5 November 2012

African Review of Business and Technology

The applications for wireless-based video security networks are coming under
renewed scrutiny as the public sector faces increasing government pressure to
cut costs whilst maintaining service levels. It is a fact that, when
implemented correctly, it is virtually impossible to detect any difference in
performance between fibre and line-of-sight wireless-based video networks.
Point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wireless links can deliver similar
performance to fibre, producing low levels of latency and high image quality,
but at a significantly lower cost, whether used as standalone networks,
extending the range of existing fibre networks or used to rapidly deploy
temporary communications links for covert or overt operations.

Making a difference in the market

A key difference between suppliers to look for is a range of products that have
been designed specifically for video transmission and feature the performance
necessary to deliver video images at rates of up to 25fps and latency of less
than 3ms at ranges of up to 40km. An example of such a portfolio is that provided
by Wavesight, which boasts of a comprehensive range of transceiver solutions
that enable high quality images to be received from remote locations where
traditional cabling is either not practical or simply uneconomic. This is
something that cannot be reliably achieved with the voice and data based
products that have commonly been deployed in an attempt to run bandwidth hungry
video applications.Such systems also meet all relevant international standards
for outdoor use, including IP67 industrial protection, and are regularly
specified for diverse environments around the world.?Installation is another
area where systems may be be distinguished, with an ideal being a process that
is quick and easy without requiring the high levels of technical expertise
needed to work with alternative voice and data-based products. Wavesight, for
example, provides installers with full training and specific tools – such as
its RFAnalyser – to optimise the configuration and management processes.?Effective
installation requires proven experience with many successful deployments in a
wide range of environments, exceeding client expectations in every installation
whether a complete solution or integrated with licensed and COFDM product
technologies. Helpful, also, is a competitive pricing strategy and a
straightforward and pragmatic approach to doing business. This is no mean feat
in the current challenging financial climate.

Significant cost savings

As well as delivering comparable performance to fibre networks and leased lines,
Wavesight systems can enable organisations to install or expand video security
networks at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems. The market is
already changing, and where wireless was once seen as being only suitable as an
extension to fibre, it is now commonly being specified to replace fibre. At
just 15- 20 per cent of the cost, organisations are achieving a return on
investment in as little as 24 months whilst eliminating the high ongoing costs
required for fibre or leased lines will deliver further significant savings
over the same period.?Of course, these may not be the most important issues in
African economies, as the economics and practicality of installing fibre- based
networks is simply not viable, particularly when there is no visible difference
in terms of performance. With proper network planning and construction,
however, wireless is suitable for all but the very largest scale communications
networks – and, considering the cost and reliability advantages of wireless,
why would they even consider the alternatives?