To protect its assets and infrastructure, Orange Group, telecommunications companies in Cameroon, has specified and deployed iVMS software, NVRs, decoders and IP cameras from Hikvision, a global supplier of innovative video surveillance products and solutions.

Consolidating its leading position in the 23 million population central African country, Orange Cameroon is progressively substituting voice and SMS applications by data communications and value-added services, expanding its 3G and 4G coverage, and upgrading its access network.

This move is set to greatly enhance Orange’s network capabilities for new applications and the development of high and very high-speed broadband. Furthermore, Orange Cameroon leads the way in providing mobile payments, thanks to numerous innovations in its Orange Money service, including the Orange Money Visa card.

Servitel delivered an effective solution that would provide an answer to the security and management issues being faced 

Remote access management

Wanting to provide an effective solution to the frequent problem of theft of stock at many Orange sites, and the requirement to help better manage remote access to some key sensitive areas, along with confirming the locations and status of its employees, Orange Cameroon enlisted the help of Servitel. Based in Douala (the seaport and economic hub of Cameroon), Servitel is a specialist systems integrator.

To address the issues raised by Orange Cameroon, Servitel, who are adept in the supply of integrated security equipment, communications and network management solutions, worked with the head of security for Orange, to deliver an effective solution that would provide an answer to the security and management issues being faced.

Networked surveillance solution

Using information derived from a study of the initial proposed eleven Orange sites by the Orange Group security team, and utilising staff feedback, after much consideration, the first phase of the new surveillance system specification was developed and approved. The eleven Orange locations to be covered by the networked solution would include the company’s HQ in Douala, its technical HQ, commercial HQ, and Orange retail and technical sites in 10 cities throughout Cameroon.

At the majority of locations covered by the new surveillance system, a mix of entrances and exits, fence line perimeters, tops of buildings, and internal areas were all chosen to be monitored.The efficient H.264+ algorithm also reduced the amount and cost of storage hardware needed" 

Multi-site surveillance system

Linking the multi-site networked surveillance system internally via Cat6a cable and microwave video transmission to the central control room located at Orange’s HQ, a mix of over 300 Hikvision HD cameras were installed by Servitel. “Even for a highly experienced Mobile Telecom Provider, building a remote IP CCTV network to link to a remote central Control Room is a real challenge in Africa, as there is no existing interurban optical fibre network to utilise,” explained Gregory Ancelin, Director at Servitel. 

So, for this multi-site system, we installed microwave links. We then needed to consider how we would maximise the limited broadband bandwidth available, this is where the Hikvision solution really came in to its own. The Hikvision cameras’ use of the very efficient H.264+ encoding technology enabled the transmission of 1080P HD quality images but using only half the bandwidth of cameras using standard H.264."

"The efficient H.264+ algorithm also reduced the amount and cost of storage hardware needed by requiring only half as much disk storage space, and the cameras themselves are very competitively priced considering their high-spec and high quality,” Gregory added.

With high-capacity local storage, events and local recordings are maintained safely, and available for retrievalHikvision cameras and NVRs

Providing the comprehensive high-quality video surveillance coverage and facilities management that Orange required, the mix of Hikvision camera models installed included, DS-2CD4212F-IS 1.3MP Low-light IR Bullet, DS-2CD2722FWD 2MP WDR Vari-focal Dome, and DS-2DF8236IV-AEL 2MP Ultra WDR Smart PTZ network cameras. At each remote site, the Hikvision cameras are integrated with the access control system, to allow remote verification of entry and access doors, with some access points used to trigger camera snapshots of users. 

Local remote site continuous recording is facilitated by Hikvision DS-9600NI-H8 Series NVRs, with built-in network protocol for connectivity with Hikvision and other camera manufacturer IP products.

Local recording plays an essential role within the multi-site system, primarily because the data connection between the remote sites and the control room can sometimes be lost for relatively long periods, interrupting live monitoring. But with high-capacity local storage, events and local recordings are maintained safely, and available for retrieval when the connection with the control room is resumed.

Combined internal and external IP video solution

The mix of internal and external IP cameras specified was installed across three phases and devised to address the varying range of surveillance scene conditions encountered across each of the eleven Orange sites. The mix of technology specified directly addressed issues such as bright-backlit scene lighting, total darkness and the need for wide-area coverage. 

At the central control room in Douala, supporting 24/7 live monitoring and reporting of incidents to the Orange security department, Hikvision DS-96128NI-E24/H Embedded NVRs were specified to provide up to 8 Megapixel resolution recording and playback of the multi-site networked surveillance system.

Hikvision’s Blazer Pro (256-channel) all-in-one server was also deployed to provide a comprehensive and powerful surveillance video management solution, along with Hikvision DS-6408HDI-T Series decoders, used to provide video stream decoding for a high-resolution 20 x 32” monitor screen video wall.

Search and playback of specific events enables control room operators to provide the Orange security team with snapshots or video footage

Post-event video investigation

Utilising the powerful Hikvision surveillance capability, if and when an event occurs, depending on its severity, control room operators notify the Orange security department with the precise nature and level of the event taking place, furnishing them with detailed information and enabling them to take the appropriate course of action.

Post-event investigation is also catered for by the system, where search and playback of specific events enables control room operators to provide the Orange security team with snapshots or video footage whenever requested. 

Fewer security personnel

Since the system went live, it has contributed a positive impact on the business, with multiple acknowledged security benefits across the Orange estate. “Orange were able to cut their operational costs by reducing the number of required security personnel,” commented Gregory. “Some incidents have already been caught on camera, including incidents related to loss of stock from some sites.

Regarding the system specification, prior to the Orange Group project we had previously used Hikvision successfully for many other clients, and we were confident that the solution we proposed combined very competitive cost, with superb quality and performance, which was a crucial factor in securing this multi-site contract.

Looking to the future, the Hikvision based scheme has been deemed a great success, and as such, a complimentary phase two installation has been specified and works begun to extend the coverage to further Orange sites across Cameroon.

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