Report: Utilities to Spend $100B on Networking and Comm Equip by 2029

A report from Navigant Research provides a granular look at the global marketplace for utility networking and communications equipment and services for smart grid applications.

Power utilities are faced with a fast-changing operating environment. Not only are competitive threats and operational challenges mounting, but customers are also demanding more from their utilities—as are regulators. Meanwhile, technological advances are making it easier and cheaper to deploy connectivity throughout a utility’s territory.

“Sophisticated IT and analytics programs can leverage the data made available by connected devices to improve grid reliability, safety, resilience, and operational efficiency—all of which augment the utility’s return on the networking investment,” said Richelle Elberg, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Thus, investment in networking for a multitude of utility applications is accelerating even as the ways that utilities solve connectivity problems are diversifying.”

Globally, $7.9 billion is forecast for investments in smart grid communications equipment and services in 2018, with $6.8 billion attributable to utility CAPEX in networking equipment. Services, which include leased lines, cellular service, tower leasing, satellite services, and low power wide area (LPWA) solutions, are anticipated to account for more than $1 billion, according to the report.

The report, Networking and Communications for Smart Grids and Utility Applications, provides a granular look at the global marketplace for utility networking and communications equipment and services for smart grid applications. The study covers three smart grid applications: advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation, and substation automation at the transmission and distribution levels (as well as secondary substations in Europe). Technologies covered include cellular, RF mesh, point-to-multipoint, microwave point-to-point, private 4G, Wi-Fi-based systems, satellite services, leased lines, TDM/ethernet/broadband, power line carrier (PLC), fiber, and low power wide area (LPWA). Global market forecasts, segmented by application, technology, utility type (in the US), and region, extend through 2027. The forecasts include spend on equipment and services for near area networks (NANs, or field area networks) and wide area networks (WANs). Services forecasts include those provided by cellular carriers, satellite providers, tower leasing companies, and telcos for leased line, TDM/ethernet, or broadband services. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

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