September 6, 2021
Fire and Security

Digitalisation has transformed security, often replacing physical perimeters with ever-expanding digital networks of endpoints. This brings new challenges for the security industry, with the latest 4K/8K CCTV cameras eating up to 50 Mbps of bandwidth each.

Organisations that need high-bandwidth networks also need control over the security, data traffic, management and operations of those networks. And fixed networks can no longer handle the exponentially growing demand for data throughput. This makes upgrading to 5G vital in many cases – but that comes with its own challenges.

5G offers much faster speeds and almost zero latency, allowing for new, data-rich security applications to be developed. Download speeds start around 50 Mbps and go up to 1.8 Gbps or more.

Private 5G networks also offer greatly enhanced private network control, often with their own dedicated spectrum. Smart cities, for example, can use these for sensitive CCTV data and automated traffic systems.

When implementing private 5G networks, engineers face the challenge of creating enough capacity to allow this massive amount of data to be uploaded to the cloud. mmWave wireless technology offers a cost-effective solution, reliably transferring huge data uploads from security applications like high-resolution CCTV and video cameras.

Spectrum creates challenges of its own: local regulators often make only a small amount available for private use, restricted to a small area, making it difficult to cover the whole perimeter. However, 5G unlicensed spectrum is available on the mmWave band of frequencies between 57-71GHz, with no need for regulatory approval, and can be used anywhere.

Instead of setting up large masts and base stations with fixed networks, many organisations are now attaching moveable distribution nodes to existing infrastructure, allowing much more flexible 5G deployments for security applications like video surveillance, facial recognition and biometrics. Wireless network equipment for low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) environments can also support agility and rapid setup.

As 5G networks grow in capacity, machine learning and AI will be used to develop innovative video analytics and video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), with video being uploaded to the cloud rather than a central system. AI and automation will also be able to handle access control, motion detection, behaviour detection and intruder detection, improving security while reducing the need for human personnel.