The Russian government seems to pay particular attention to Internet technologies. In fact, president Medvedev, in his latest speech, has more than once made direct references to the development of broadband access, which should be widespread even in the most remote corners of that big country, paying particular attention to electronic documentation management and remote education programs.
This concerns the public sector and services to citizens. As far as the private sector is concerned, the Internet development will be useful, among other things, to increase the security level in the cities, by lowering costs at the same time, thanks to IP video surveillance.
Currently, the percentage of surveillance systems using Internet to transmit data and images ranges between 5% and 7% of working surveillance systems. The target is raising this share to 15% as soon as possible, by relying on the fact that, in times of crisis, the video surveillance in Russia is actually showing a dramatic increase, with an estimated growth in 2009 of 20% towards previous year.
Of course, development of Internet based surveillance and monitoring solutions must be supported by an equal development of infrastructure, especially in smaller towns. If in Moscow the percentage of broadband access is around 85%, in the rest of the country it ranges between 20% and 40%.
The struggle to gain market shares is taking place in three sectors: IP video surveillance, corporate communications and VoIP telephony, with big name operators launching their high-end products, such as high-resolution surveillance cameras, on the Russian market; on the other hand, though, the network infrastructure may not be able to support such an advanced technology.
The struggle just started, will the end user reap the benefits? Time will tell!