WatchTower Security provides remote CCTV monitoring to sites, mainly construction sites, all over Ireland. The business taps into what is a significant problem in the construction industry – on-site theft. Each year in Ireland as much as €10 million worth of equipment is stolen from sites around the country, according to Garda reports. The figure is continuing to grow, with crucial power tools and machinery a regular target for thieves.
WatchTower’s CCTV towers are unique in that they require no mains power or fixed line connectivity. These incredibly-mobile towers provide a live video feed of a site, which is monitored by experts, who can alert authorities if they notice any intruders. The feed is also available to the customer via a dedicated app. The cameras are two-way, delivering an intruder warning in real time that can act as a deterrent to would-be thieves. For this innovative technology to function effectively WatchTower required reliable, constant connectivity. Any lag or break in connection would render the video and two-way functionality virtually useless.
“We knew we needed IoT SIMs with their multi-network capabilities. Because they aren’t locked into a single provider, multi-network SIMs make sure our devices can connect to the strongest network in any location,” explains Julie Allen of WatchTower Security. “By seamlessly switching to the strongest network we can be sure of a continuous connection, which is critical for our service. Multi-network SIMs would also open up even the most remote sites in the country, as we wouldn’t be reliant on a single network provider who may not have a reliable connection at a particular location.”
Thinglabs brings an all-in solution to WatchTower Security, including multi-network IoT SIMs, a management dashboard, and dedicated support. The multi-network SIMs automatically connect to the strongest network at any particular site. Each SIM can be monitored, managed and customised online via Thinglabs’ IoT Dash SIM management portal, and a data pooling contract spreads the data load across all WatchTower’s SIMs. Importantly for WatchTower Security, Thinglabs is based in Ireland and provides accessible technical expertise, combined with local geographical knowledge.
“The support we receive from Thinglabs is excellent. Along with Damian’s technical expertise, he has the geographical, local knowledge we were looking for. We provide camera towers to sites all over Ireland, from Donegal to Kerry, and it’s important for us that we have someone who understands the different areas,” says Julie. “Because Damian is based in Ireland it also means he’s accessible and always available. In saying that, since we’ve been working with Thinglabs we haven’t had any issues, but we know Damian is there if we need him.”
WatchTower has approximately 200 active IoT SIMs located in towers all over Ireland. Thinglabs IoT Dash provides an ideal tool to manage these SIMs, according to Julie. “We use the dashboard to edit each SIM. What this does is allow us to assign names to each tower. Rather than a phone number, which would be typical with other SIMs, we name the towers – tower 49 for example. This means we can readily identify the towers, making monitoring and managing them far easier.”
The management dashboard also provides WatchTower with complete visibility of its SIMs. “We can see at a glance how much data each tower is using. We have a data pooling contract, which bundles our data across all our SIMs. Some towers may be quite active, while others use less data. With Thinglabs data pooling we don’t have to worry about data limits on every tower as the allowance is spread across our entire estate,” explains Julie.
The reliability of Thinglabs SIMs means extra reassurance for WatchTower, which requires constant connectivity for its two-way, real-time monitored cameras. “Our cameras all have inbuilt resiliency, and we have contingency plans in place for any eventuality. Part of that is the reliability that Thinglabs offers us. The multi-network SIMs automatically use the strongest network available and we know that Damian at Thinglabs is so accessible if we have any other issues. This gives us that extra layer of reliability.”