Vumacam poles with grey camera domes have been rolled out across Johannesburg, and one thing which stands out is that the height of the poles far exceeds the height of the domes.
The reason for this additional height is to make it possible to carry extra infrastructure such as solar panels or network equipment in future.
Vumacam has been rolling out its security camera network across Johannesburg for three years, and it now has 3,000 poles of which 2,700 of which have cameras installed.
Its comprehensive video surveillance network includes hi-tech cameras which cover entire suburbs on a fibre network.
Its system architecture enables intelligent video analytics, which includes licence plate recognition and real-time detection of abnormal activities.
The cameras are all interconnected, which offers security companies visibility across different suburbs.
What sets these camera poles apart from other poles like telephone poles is that they have electricity feeds and are connected to Vumatel’s fibre network.
Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), which owns Vumatel and DFA, has big plans for this network.
CIVH chairman Pieter Uys said the Vumacam towers can easily be used as facilities for a wireless mobile network.
Uys said this network can be used by either the current mobile players or CIVH can use it to launch its own open-access wireless network.
Vumacam told MyBroadband its poles are load-bearing poles and their height ensures the ability to carry extra infrastructure such as solar panels.
“While they could potentially be retrofitted for the purpose of mobile antennas, their current height was not initially established for this purpose,” the company said.
It added that rolling out a mobile network on its poles is not currently a primary focus for Vumacam as it will require a lot of additional work.
“Over and above the requisite consultation and regulatory measures, it would require retrofitting,” it said.
The company said it is currently focussed on ways to reduce the cost of its infrastructure to its security partners and ultimately, their customers.
The company is, however, looking at Wi-Fi and 4G applications on its poles as that could be a way to bridge the economic data divide and further subsidise the cost of the smart camera network.
“Any decision made in this regard will be made with due consideration and will be in line with our proactive engagement on all projects,” the company said.