Why 5G is the perfect fit for surveillance


For most surveillance or camera monitoring applications, 5G – the new generation of mobile communications – will be an undeniable asset. Companies are already reaping the benefits, as the case of the Port of Antwerp shows.

It goes without saying that for camera surveillance, images need to be transmitted quickly. "The speed of 5G is an absolute plus in this respect," indicates Geert Vander Veken, Customer Solution Architect at Orange Belgium.

But as he points out, that is not the only advantage of 5G for camera surveillance. "The reduced latency (the time it takes to transmit data from one end point to another) and jitter (the irregularity in latency across the network) in 5G reduce delay and the variation in delay between the transmitter and the receiver. 5G can also better support multiple users on the radio network using techniques that reduce radio interference. Radio interference is the presence of unwanted signals in the radio spectrum, and this can cause a loss of network performance."

In addition, the guaranteed bandwidth, thanks to so-called network slicing, is an advantage. This means that organisations and companies can reserve bandwidth between a fleet of 5G devices and their network infrastructure. "Lastly, 5G was developed from the very beginning by 3GPP with security in mind (security by design) and this is obviously an advantage for surveillance applications."


Surveillance in industry

All this makes 5G highly suitable for camera surveillance. "It is estimated that in the next three years, about 70% of all 5G traffic will consist of surveillance applications," indicates Geert Vander Veken.

Surveillance cameras are fairly universal, but can be used for specific purposes in an industrial environment. "In a factory setting, for example, applications that support object detection in Automated Guide Vehicles, or AVGs, spring to mind. Latency is also crucial for such vehicles," he illustrates.


Smart cities & construction

In addition to industrial applications, Geert Vander Veken also sees 5G applications for surveillance in the domain of ‘smart cities’ and in the construction sector. "Think of traditional construction sites, but also roadworks where there is often no other network coverage available." Such cameras can also be used to monitor traffic or for incident prevention. "In this way, surveillance cameras can form the basis of artificial intelligence or edge computing," he adds.



A good example of the added value of 5G in an industrial context is the project in the port of Antwerp. There, the 5G technology of Orange Belgium ensures that the Port of Antwerp's (PoA) tugboats can carry out their work even more precisely.

Container ships are often too large to enter a port on their own, so they count on the help of tugboats that pull or push them to the right dock. As part of a Proof of Concept, Orange mounted a moving camera on a tugboat. The camera’s images could be transmitted to the control room in real time. Via 5G, these images can be viewed with virtually no delay and, thanks to the technology, one tugboat knows what the other one is doing at any point in time.

"This project is a great example of the scope of 5G," summarises Geert Vander Veken. "The main strength of 5G lies in its long range, which is much broader than that of WiFi, for example. Add to this its very large bandwidth and all the other benefits."


Would you like to discover what 5G could mean for your company? Talk to your account manager about it.

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