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Aug 20 2018

Improving safety and efficiency with new-generation digital CCTV:
Is your network ready?

Railways provide a major means of transportation for millions of people looking to work, play and socialize. As ridership grows, it becomes more important than ever to ensure your passengers’ safety at all times – especially against a backdrop of natural disasters and increased threats from global terrorism and cyber hacking. The good news is that closed-circuit TV (CCTV), an essential part of the railway safety equation, is ready to play an even greater role in maintaining safe and efficient rail operations by allowing your staff to better monitor the system and quickly identify potential problems.

CCTV is meeting today’s challenges by becoming more capable than ever before, as rail operators worldwide replace old analog systems with those based on Internet Protocol (IP). These digital CCTV systems offer greatly enhanced capabilities, including camera quality as high as 4K resolution, with the capability to bundle or integrate with intelligent video analytics applications that work in real time to automatically detect anomalies – for example, a large crowd suddenly starting to run. By harnessing these advanced capabilities, you can continuously monitor passenger movement and behavior onboard trains and in stations, rapidly detect dangerous situations and enhance video security everywhere. These “smart” video streams also give your operational staff high situational awareness during incidents, particularly major emergencies, so that they can better protect life and property. And, as terror threat levels remain high, CCTV has become an integral component of physical security defense.

Urban rail

The backbone network: nexus of digital CCTV

A typical IP-based CCTV system consists of multiple subsystems, including a video management system (VMS), video clients and analytics applications, all of which receive large numbers of video streams transmitted by cameras onboard trains or in stations through a backbone communications network. With a large number of cameras, that network must deliver video streams to each of the CCTV subsystems in a bandwidth-efficient manner. As video streams are encoded in multicast packets, the network can harnesses the full power of IP multicast to deliver essential imagery to multiple destinations with high-bandwidth efficiency. To accommodate this torrent of high-resolution video, the backbone network link must be able to scale beyond 1 Gb/s, and be ready to seamlessly expand with wavelength division multiplex (WDM) technology to accommodate an increasing number of cameras..

Digital CCTV needs a high performance network to shine

To fully harness all the time the smart CCTV capabilities discussed earlier, you need a high performance network:

  • Reliability even in tough conditions. A resilient backbone communications network can continue deliver video streams despite multiple network faults during times of natural disasters and severe human-generated incidents, enabling operational staff and first responders to device effective response or rescue plans
  • Assured quality of service. While video streams are not as delay sensitive as rail signalling application, the streams still need to be delivered consistently to maintain situational awareness continuously, even when the network is congested.
  • No more blind spots. Radio connectivity is present even when a train is deep inside an underground tunnel, ensuring that on-board video streams continue to reach the back-end CCTV subsystems and you are not left blind.
  • Efficient protection against cyberattacks. The network also can rigorously defend against cyberattacks that would breach or tamper with CCTV systems and other critical applications.

Does your communications network fully address today’s challenges? We want to know what you you think. Engage with us on social media, come to see us at InnoTrans 2018, or visit our Railways webpage.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokiapubsvcs using #security #cybersecurity #transportation #railway #missioncritical #InnoTrans2018

About Hansen Chan

Hansen Chan is senior marketing manager for the IP product portfolio at Nokia with a special focus on industries. With over 25 years of protocol testing, network consulting and product management experience, he’s a go-to speaker at international industry conferences. When he’s not talking networks, he’s reading up on history and religion, and listening to Baroque and 20th century classical music.

Tweet to him @hchan888