Beginners guide to wireless links for CCTV backhaul

Today’s point to point wireless links offer excellent throughput, fantastic reliability and cover some impressive distances. The ease and speed of deployment can make them a cost effective alternative to cabling even in situations you wouldn’t traditionally turn to wireless.

Almost all links leave you with spare capacity to add extra cameras or throughput and extra links from other locations can easy be added at future points. As well as future proofing the network for your customer it also give you the opportunity to upsell other features such as Wi-Fi hotspots.

If you are considering using wireless links for the first time what are the key features are you looking for?

Capacity / Throughput

How much data can the link handle? A typical HD CCTV camera will use a maximum of 6-8mbps of data. You can therefore do the simple maths of adding how many cameras will be running through that link which gives you the minimum throughput you require.

Example – A Ligowave DLB-5-15N has a throughput of 170mbps. You have 3 HD cameras backhaul at approximately 6-8mbps. This will give you a large excess to add further cameras or other items in the future, or run Wi-Fi through the same network.


How far does your link need to go? Remember your link needs to have clear line of sight between the two radios. No buildings, trees or other obstacles as it’s highly likely to prevent your link from working to its capacity, if at all.

Example – A Ligowave DLB-5-20AC has a maximum distance of 15km when used in a single point to point situation or 10km when used in a point to multi-point situation.

IP Rating

Point to point radios are almost always positioned outside and therefore need to be tough enough to take weather conditions. IP rating is an official test that a product has to go through to test its resistance to water, dust, wind etc. The higher the rating the more resistant the product is.

Example – Ligowave DLB-5-20AC is IP-66 rated, Siklu Multihaul is IP-67 rated. Where a product doesn’t show an IP rating you may find they haven’t been officially tested.

Although those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to features, they are the fundamentals. Will the link carry the amount of information I need? (Capacity). Will it travel as far as I need with clear line of sight? (Distance) and is it suitable for the conditions? (IP Rating). With those fundamentals correct you cannot go far wrong. 

LigoWave products being used for CCTV backhaul