Video Surveillance - the Bread and Butter of 5G Operations

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 25/11/2020

6 minutes

Video surveillance is expected to be the largest profit raking space for 5G technology, as per Gartner. By this time, thanks to worldwide speed trials, although 5G speeds can be disputed one thing cannot, and that is that cities would soon run on wireless internet. Breaking through the fabric of broadband wires will be 5G. Conventional CCTV installations are heavily based on cable and fibers thus adding to subscription charges whereas 5G internet would be available at a fraction of the cost. Not to mention, the 4K & 8K resolutions that it would support boosting user interest with low latency networks.

By the time we reach the mid-point of the century, 70% of humans will reside in cities. We might as well mention that the world population will reach 9.7 billion in the purported time. It is easy to chart resource consumption patterns for population epicenters. For starters, an uninterrupted supply of electricity is a must. But private needs of the citizenry kept aside, population clusters would simultaneously burden government bodies who would have to expend time and money on public safety. This means maintaining constant, an Orwellian-like vigil, so law and order can be assured, if not guaranteed. This is already a common theme among developing economies staying busy laying a web of CCTV cameras at every nook and corner.

CCTV vs Wireless connectivity

The fact that CCTV installations are cable/wire-based is a mammoth disadvantage. For one, it requires modular changes to be made to the building infrastructure, and two could be easily sabotaged without leaving a trace. Agreed, 5G, especially in terms of wireless connectivity, has its share of nay-sayers who’ve often been unsure of its capabilities. The biggest question of all being, will 5G enabled wireless networks supply real-time throughput to drones and or body-mount cameras. The answer is yes.

Let’s put this point in perspective.

We require a network bandwidth of 90.4 Mbps to support 10 4K CCTV cameras capturing video at 15 frames per second at a standard H.264 codec quality. In simple words, a lot of bandwidth for too few cameras. Considering cellular networks do not run on network slices and have to serve mobile consumers, such traffic would cause congestion and lag. Funny enough, were the cameras mounted on drones, bundling them in cables would be comic and irrational.

Place that against 5G and the difference is immense. 5G networks will run on network slices, a concept that multiplies traffic handling capacity.

Blockading Privacy Blues with 5G 

Much has been said (and written) about the role of mass CCTV installations to establish federal authoritarianism. The argument isn’t baseless but overlooks an essential point. Cameras offer undisputed proof during investigations and often repulse daylight crimes when first-time offenders are likely to be cautious. Yet, there is a thin line between safety and anonymity. There is a strong case to be made for (or against) tracking public movement so the government doesn’t abuse power.

Experts that the middle ground lies in city-wide camera installations, but only that, which record anomalous behavior. Is this possible?

With 5G, yes it is!

Video analytics run on the edge can anonymize people appearing on-screen, and be programmed to capture the behavior that is incongruous with law-abiding citizens. To give you an example, consider people shopping in a general store. By masking their appearance the store owner would only see transparent outlines of people making rounds and point out possibly theft actions. In the end, only such instances of anomalies will be stored in the video software and the rest auto-deleted.

But how does 5G help in saving the day?

The video processing software would run locally, on edge servers, in principle employing distributed cloud technology that is in turn supported by 5G networks. In other words, 5G-powered video feeds would render the de-centralization of video records effective.

The Future is 5G

One cannot envisage smart cities without 5G. Not only will it make an invaluable contribution towards remote, high-quality supervision, but also aid in rolling out automated cars that will save not just time, but human lives. To meet the infrastructural and business challenges that arise, the industry needs professionals well-versed in multi-dimensional skill sets from 5G-data mining to optimizing business outcomes.

Skill up with the all-new Nokia-Bell Labs E2E 5G Certification and be the elusive talent the telecom industry is after.


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