South Australian wireless integrator MIMP Computer Cable has completed the roll-out of a wireless surveillance network for the South Australian police.
Allan Aitchison, GM at MIMP Computer Cable, said the new Adelaide network linked 31 bus and train interchanges with real-time streaming video over 100 kilometres of 802.11b wireless networking, including EM Solutions microwave WAN links, Hills antennae, Enterasys hardware and a 'proprietary security application'.
'They needed a higher bandwidth [system] and to get that from a telco was about $80,000 to $100,000 per site,' he said. 'They couldn't move forward or back ... But if we put the links in and access in, it cut their costs.'
Aitchison said MIMP - which stands for Money in My Pocket - was given the go-ahead for the project after completion of a pilot in 2001. 'We won't put much money in our pockets out of this,' he said.
Aitchison said that the overarching aim today was for companies to cut costs and reduce their overheads. MIMP's theory was that by taking a small margin, the integrator might not earn a lot in the short term but stay competitive over time, he said.
He said the company was selected for its ability to offer the police security services division substantial cost savings which he was not permitted to divulge. The agreement also involves ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the system, he said.
South Australian police security services will monitor the network around the clock for criminal behaviour at the interchanges in hopes that improved security will encourage more people to use Adelaide public transport, Aitchison said.
Real-time streaming video would enable police to respond quicker to incidents and provide harder evidence to be used in court to convict offenders, he said.
'Because it's real-time, they don't have the issue of missing the frame of the actual incident - and the quality is high-resolution. They can actually see what's going on all the time,' Aitchison said.
Another advantage was that, the police could continue building functionality into the network as it was IP-based, he said.
Australian electricity industry lobby group National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has this year awarded MIMP a commendation for the implementation, mainly for the costs saved, he said.
NECA also gave MIMP an Excellence award for an earlier project, the 130 kilometre microwave link it completed to provide duplex (two-way) voice and data networking, incorporating a remote solar and wind-powered repeater, for South Australia's Mid-Murray Council, he said.
'I think that our package [for Mid-Murray] was under $1 million and the package we were up against was around $6 million,' Aitchison said. He said MIMP had also formed a national co-operative of similar companies allowing Australian players to achieve cross-state economies of scale.
'We have 20 full-time staff but we're working with companies in all states, including the Northern Territory and Tasmania, and if you put them all together there's probably about 1000 staff in the co-operative,' Aitchison said.
He had seen 'a lot' of companies putting in single links that failed to work or became unstable due to configuration and network design problems that could be more easily solved by a larger organisation, Aitchison said.