Mesh wireless networks can be deployed in areas that cannot be reached by line-of-sight radios, by utilizing meshing techniques which also provide redundant paths for the camera to connect back to the control center. Mesh solutions utilize the 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi standards, allowing for access to the video from anywhere within the network by using standard, off-the-shelf laptops, PDAs or other WiFi-based clients. Most MWAN products are designed with two radios; a 2.4 GHz radio for 802.11b/g/n client access and a 5 GHz 802.11a/n radio for the backhaul connection which can provide up to 80Mbps. A 4.9 GHz lightly licensed spectrum is also available for public safety use. The second radio is the key to the resiliency since this provides dedicated backhaul used for node-to-node communication, and in turn forms the wireless mesh.
A growing trend for public safety, public transit and fleet management is to provide video surveillance to and from a moving vehicle. Some wireless mesh networks utilize high powered APs and fast handoff technology to provide the coverage and throughput required for video to and from a moving vehicle.
Wireless video surveillance solutions can be more cost-effective and flexible alternatives to wired products. However, it is important to note that these wireless camera options are only as reliable as the networks on which they reside. For most municipalities looking to deploy or expand their video security systems, the backhaul solution of choice will likely leverage both fiber and wireless technologies to maximize the return on the infrastructure and application investments they have made to date and into the future.
Tim Mason is the senior director, Global Solutions Marketing, Wireless Broadband Networks & Enterprise Business, Motorola Inc.