Makati, Philippines deploys wireless video surveillance for traffic

manila wireless video surveillance network

Wireless video surveillance on a quiet traffic-less day in Makati

Makati, Philippines (the business center of Metro Manila) has deployed a wireless video surveillance system and a new traffic management center that provide real-time, high-definition video monitoring of major intersections in the central business district. The network will allow city personnel to detect traffic jams and accidents, and to alert and divert drivers.

Metro Manila has some of the worst traffic jams on earth. It was already terrible when I lived there as a child, but it’s much worse now even though they’ve built a lot of new highways and roads. I hope this new traffic management system will make life easier for drivers and passengers of thousands of jeepneys, the Philippines’ most beloved form of transportation (originally made out of US Army Jeeps after the Second World War, jeepneys have become a practical form of street art on wheels).

Manila jeepneys

The Philippines favorite form of transportation: the jeepney

philippines jeepney

A crowded jeepney

Indeed, since the new wireless video surveillance system was placed into service, Makati’s administrators have been able to respond to accidents immediately and ease congestion by providing live traffic updates to residents and workers via the Web and social media.

On a typical weekday in Makati City, it is estimated that more than 600,000 vehicles traverse the downtown area. Traffic congestion in Makati City has reached a critical level in recent years due to the influx of multinational and local companies. Rush-hour traffic can cripple this financial center of the Philippines — distances that pedestrians typically walk in 15 minutes to 20 minutes can sometimes require 30 to 60 minutes in a vehicle at peak rush hour.

To address the mounting traffic congestion, the Makati City CCTV Network Project (CCNP) team specified an advanced traffic surveillance and response system with the following key requirements:

  • A high-bandwidth network capable of handling a cluster of five high-definition cameras, four fixed cameras, and one pan-tilt-zoom camera at numerous major intersections;
  • Relay stations for locations without line of sight;
  • Interoperation with existing fiber on certain locations, without degrading overall performance; and
  • Rapid deployment with minimal downtime and disruption during implementation;

Makati selected Firetide’s mesh network based on its Automesh technology. They found that Firetide’s equipment could deliver edge-of-network support to more than one hundred HD cameras, while at the same time providing reliable wireless backhaul.

“The Firetide AutoMesh technology is crucial for rapid identification of traffic problems because it can handle the incredible amount of traffic generated by 115 high-definition cameras and deliver a jitter-free video feed to the Makati City Command Center. The Firetide local team was also instrumental in supporting our engineers for this successful rollout,” said Ariel de la Cruz, president of Facilities Protection Inc., the local Firetide Premier Partner that designed and installed the system. “Since the new system was placed into service, city administrators have been able to respond to accidents immediately and take steps to mitigate congestion by providing live traffic updates to city residents and workers via the Web and social media.”

Commenting on the city’s advanced wireless network infrastructure, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay Jr. said:

“The primary function of the new traffic monitoring system is to alleviate traffic congestion, document traffic law violations, and detect criminal acts. But the advanced wireless network that underpins this system can deliver other important benefits for the city. For example, during the recent typhoon Maring and monsoon rains, we were able to better monitor the flooded areas of the city and make decisions to evacuate residents and save lives.”

Phase 1 of the Makati City project focuses on major streets that include Ayala Avenue, Sen. Gil Puyat (formerly Buendia) Avenue, Makati Avenue and J.P. Rizal Avenue. Two zones were created to cover these four major avenues. Zone 1 (Ayala Zone) covers 10 intersections comprising a total of 47 cameras and 14 Firetide mesh nodes with 11 multi-hops. Zone 2 (Makati Zone) covers 15 intersections and comprises a total of 68 cameras and 22 Firetide mesh nodes with 19 multi-hops.

Main intersections were provided with four fixed focus cameras and one pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera. These cameras will ensure continuous, full-video coverage of each intersection. The PTZ cameras can also be used for other purposes such as zooming in on critical areas that require detailed monitoring. A total of 115 HD cameras were deployed, requiring a minimum of 30 Mbps bandwidth for non-MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) links, and 150 Mbps bandwidth for MIMO links for the mesh radios.


  1. This is a good initiative. But I was surprised to see the number of cameras on the pole.