Governments Eye Outdoor Surveillance Equipment

October 5, 2020

The global government Internet of Things (IoT) endpoint electronics and communications market will total $14.7 billion in 2020, an increase of 6% from 2019.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is slowing down spending, however, governments across the globe continue to use IoT technologies and solutions to improve citizen safety. At the same time, the falling endpoint and connectivity costs make smart city initiatives more viable,” said Kay Sharpington, principal research analyst at Gartner.

The largest revenue opportunities in the government IoT market in 2020 are in outdoor surveillance, street and outdoor lighting and road toll and traffic management (see Table 1).

Table 1. Top 5 Government IoT Endpoint Electronics and Communications Revenue by Use Cases, 2019-2021 (Billions of U.S. Dollars)

Use Case 2019 2020 2021
Outdoor Surveillance 6.2 6.7 7.6
Road Toll and Traffic Management 1.9 1.6 2.0
Street and Outdoor Lighting 2.0 1.7 1.9
City Asset Tracking 1.4 1.6 2.0
Police Evidence Gathering 0.6 0.9 1.3
Others 1.9 2.1 2.5
Total Market 13.9 14.7 17.4

Due to rounding, some figures may not add up to the totals shown.

Source: Gartner (October 2020)

Governments Prioritize Public Safety

“Governments are increasing their spending on outdoor surveillance cameras to monitor cities for crime. In the wake of COVID-19, they are also used to track compliance with safety restrictions,” said Ms. Sharpington.

Globally, Gartner expects governments will deploy eight cameras per thousand urban citizens for outdoor surveillance by 2021, up from six cameras per thousand in 2019.

Across all countries, the Chinese government is the key contributor to the outdoor surveillance spending growth. The Chinese government is investing in cameras that harness advanced image recognition techniques and will deploy 32 cameras per thousand urban citizens for outdoor surveillance by 2021, up from 27 cameras per thousand in 2019.

For the overall government vertical, the Greater China region will account for 48% of spending on electronics and communications in 2020, while the U.S. and Western Europe will represent 16% and 15%, respectively.

With wildfires becoming more powerful and frequent, government officials are increasingly turning to technology to help mitigate the risk and allocate resources. Fire services drones use cameras and thermal imaging to identify fire sources, extreme heat areas, trapped people and the positions of firefighters in the field. “Drones enable firefighters to deploy resources in the right areas in emergencies, when time is critical, and ensure situations are safe before sending in personnel,” said Ms. Sharpington.

Police agencies are also increasingly deploying drones to aid efficient management of traffic and gain information about dangerous situations before officers risk their lives. “Unlike police vehicles or stationary cameras, drones offer a more effective and moveable viewpoint, independent of traffic and terrain,” said Ms. Sharpington.

Globally, Gartner analysts expect fire services and police drones will grow from one per 58,000 people to one per 18,000 between 2019 and 2021.

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