Smart Grid News and Analysis

IoT World Forum 2016
IoT World Forum 2016

Cellular Communications Nodes for Smart Grids Will Surpass $348 Million by 2020

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In recent years, there has been an upsurge of interest in public cellular networks for smart grid communications. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from public cellular communications nodes for smart grid applications will grow from $75.4 million annually in 2013 to $348.3 million in 2018.

Utilities have a number of options for connecting endpoints, or nodes, on the power grid, including power line communications, fiber, or copper leased line networks, as well as wireless solutions, like cellular, Wi-Fi, microwave, and radio frequency mesh.

“The ubiquitous network coverage and significantly improved reliability and security of public cellular networks make them an increasingly attractive option for smart grid communications,” says Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “More smart grid communications vendors are adopting cellular-based solutions, preferring to be technology agnostic rather than rely on just one or two communication platforms.”

While utilities in North America are expected to turn to cellular networks in increasing numbers, utilities in countries such as the United Kingdom and Japan will also drive the use of cellular in smart grids, according to the report. In August 2013, it was announced that Spanish mobile network operator Telefónica will provide communications infrastructure in the central and southern regions of the United Kingdom, where 50 million smart meters will be rolled out between 2013 and 2020. This deployment is expected to provide a big boost to the market for cellular communications for smart grids.

The report, “Public Carrier Networks for Smart Grids”, examines the global market opportunity for cellular smart grids. The report provides an analysis of the drivers, market challenges, and technology issues that will shape the market over the coming decade. Global market forecasts for public cellular communications nodes, segmented by application, region, and technology, extend through 2020. The report also profiles the key vendors, utilities, and carriers related to the cellular smart grid ecosystem. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

SOURCE: Navigant Research