While Taiwan and China as well as the U.S.A. and Europe have been quick to adopt IP for security, South Korea has been rather slow in bringing the transition. China, in particular, who has joined the security market relatively late, has jumped directly to IP security solutions without going through the analog phase.
Taiwanese security manufacturers equipped with technological expertise and affordable price have experienced success in the IP security market in China and around the world. They are now targeting South Korea as their next market for IP security solutions. Unlike the analog security market in South Korea where brand recognition has played a decisive role in customers’ choice of products, the IP security market in South Korea shows signs of opening up to foreign security manufacturers since the market started to make a rational choice taking product performance and price into consideration over brands when making purchasing decisions.
The Coming IP Surveillance Boom in South Korea
As the demand for IP security solutions is growing fast in South Korea, the market for IP security solutions is expanding rapidly in the country.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Security of Korea has announced an ambitious plan to build integrated CCTV monitoring centers all parts of South Korea. Therefore, local governments are rushing to build additional integrated CCTV monitoring centers in their autonomous regions, which results in installing a huge number of additional surveillance cameras.
In addition, subway system providers in the Seoul Metropolitan City including Seoul Metro and Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp have announced extensive plans to install surveillance cameras in all the subway cars they operate. Seoul Metro operates Subway Lines 1 to 4 in the densely populated Metropolitan area of Seoul transporting an average of 4 million people each day. And Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp (SMRT) operates the largest and most extensive metropolitan subway system in South Korea with a total of 148 stations throughout lines 5~8. Serving 2.7 million passengers daily with a total reach of almost 152 km, SMRT stands at the center of Seoul’s public transportation system and is recognized as the world’s fourth largest metropolitan subway corporation.
As the subway cars are constantly moving and shaking, the surveillance cameras that are installed in the subway cars should be IP-based.
Moreover, recently in South Korea, as video footage from CCTV cameras have played a pivotal role in catching criminals, analog CCTV cameras are quickly replaced with IP megapixel cameras which provide better and clearer quality of video even when enlarging the video, thus making it easier to identify a criminal.
According to a survey conducted by SecurityWorld magazine, the market for IP video surveillance solutions in South Korea is forecast to grow from US$148 million in 2011 to US$190 million in 2012.
South Korea Attracts Security Manufacturers from Taiwan
The rapidly emerging IP surveillance market in South Korea is drawing attention from foreign security manufacturers. One of South Korea’s neighboring countries and a long-time rival in the global security arena, Taiwan is closely watching the IP surveillance market in South Korea and seriously looking into ways to enter the market.
SecurityWorld has met with eleven key security manufacturers in Taiwan and found all of them are very interested in the South Korean market and some of them have more concrete strategies to penetrate the market.
One of the leading Taiwanese storage companies that make durable IP surveillance backend solutions, QNAP, for example, has already launched business in South Korea with a local partner and started to promote their products in the market.
EverFocus, a well-known Taiwanese brand for CCTV cameras and DVRs, is getting inquiry from South Korea for its IP surveillance products. This is a surprise to EverFocus because the company has never heard from South Korea when it was selling analog surveillance products. EverFocus believes the IP surveillance sector in South Korea provides the company with a great opportunity to expand its revenues.
Brickcom, a strong IP surveillance solution provider in Taiwan, has already recruited a partner in South Korea and is conducting marketing activities through road shows, exhibitions and seminars.
One thing to note from the strategies that Taiwanese players have about South Korea is that they are looking at win-win cooperation with local South Korean companies in the form of OEM/ODM business and partnership with systems integrators and installers rather than competing directly with local players.
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