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MMS wireless cameras (2G vs. 3G)

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  • MMS wireless cameras (2G vs. 3G)

    They're not CCTV, not really video (as in frames-per-second), and not IP-based, so I'm posting the question here. I know some law enforcement agencies in the US are using motion-detecting cameras that send a photo message via cellular (mostly GSM/GPRS right now) when triggered. The Tripwire Systems cameras from Australia were the first ones I found out about, several years ago, and those have had a lot of success for catching taggers and other "problem children" in the act. In one case in California, a suspected serial rapist/killer was caught when he triggered a camera in a place where no one should have been at that hour. (Or no one without criminal intent would have been there.)

    I know there are some US-made cameras that function much like the Tripwire cams, but I don't know the brand names or much else about them. For the past few years I've been using trail cameras to record thieves and vandals along my employer's railroad line, but those were just "after the fact" photos until the MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) versions became available. Now we can get photo messages, pretty much real-time, when someone is illegally on the premises.

    As I mentioned above, most MMS cameras use GSM technology. (They need a SIM card.) The two GSM providers in the US are AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T is in the process of upgrading their network to 3G, and word is that 2G devices won't be usable after 2017. That leaves me wondering if all those agencies that bought those high-end cameras* are going to find their cameras becoming obsolete in a few years.
    Some cameras that can use Verizon Wireless (CDMA technology instead of GSM) are now becoming available, but I'm sure there will be some expense for users of 2G GSM cams to either upgrade to 3G or switch over to a CDMA provider. I've heard that because there are so many MMS security cameras in use, another company might operate AT&T's former 2G network, but I haven't been able to confirm that. I don't know if anyone knows how many MMS cams are used for security purposes, and I don't know enough about cellular technology to know if it's even possible for the 2G network to stay in place just to accommodate the surveillance cam users.

    Any insight will be appreciated.

    *Upwards of $2K each, the last time I saw a price.



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