The City of Chicago Increases Situational Awareness with Fixed Wireless Broadband From Cambium Networks


The City of Chicago understood that in order to support a proactive response to critical situations they had to invest in a dependable wireless communications infrastructure. To wirelessly bridge their public safety initiatives, they rely on Cambium Networks.

pdf thumbnail

IN THE EARLY 2000s, officers from the City of Chicago began to implement video cameras to augment the police department in an effort to increase Tactical Intelligence. Part of this solution included a network of surveillance cameras and sensors installed on traffic poles and rooftops. The unified video network includes thousands of cameras throughout the city, managed by the Office of Public Safety Administration (OPSA) in coordination with city sister agencies.

Though the city has hundreds of miles of fiber, not all cameras were able to be reached via wired connections. In addition, cellular monthly charges were costly and throughputs not reliable in some parts of the city where high bandwidth was required. The Cambium Networks wireless fabric provided the high throughput, low latency and rugged performance needed to provide consistently high quality video while enabling the city to install cameras at the exact locations needed.

TODAY, CAMBIUM NETWORKS’ WIRELESS SOLUTION supports over 4,000 video cameras for the PSA. Traditionally, public safety cameras operate on the 4.9 GHz frequency; however, the frequency only offers a narrow 50 MHz of spectrum which needs to be shared with local nongovernment organizations such as public transportation. The flexibility of Cambium Networks’ hardware allows the city to use not only 4.9 GHz but also 5 GHz via a simple software configuration change without costly hardware upgrades. With industry-leading interference tolerance, multiple layers of security and high spectral efficiency, Cambium Networks is able to provide consistently reliable connectivity in the most challenging RF environments.

USING CAMBIUM NETWORKS FIXED WIRELESS SOLUTIONS allows the City of Chicago OPSA team to deliver quality video that is relied upon for investigations, planning, and overall public safety. Using Operational Intelligence gathered from the video network, Chicago leaders are able to proactively supply connectivity for cameras where it’s needed most because of the flexibility of the Cambium Networks solution. The wireless network has been installed for over 10 years and continues to grow. Through harsh winters and hot summers, the reliable hardware has truly been a long-term investment for the city.