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Navigant Research forecasts the market for communication nodes and associated infrastructure for water and gas utility networks will exceed $2.4 billion in 2019 and likely reach $2.7 billion in 2024.

The key driver is an increase in investments in technologies such as advanced metering infrastructure that will help water and gas utilities to address water scarcity and urbanisation.

A growing reliance on natural gas as a fuel source will push utilities to invest in smart and connected grid networks to improve operational efficiency.

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In addition, the continued decrease in the prices for LPWA network solutions will allow utilities to invest in such technologies to modernise their metering capabilities.

On the other hand, the standardisation and availability of IoT networks and their usability and revenue generation within the water and gas utility industry is expected to increase dramatically after 2024. Despite the decrease in revenue, equipment and node shipments will continue to rise worldwide.

Richelle Elberg, principal research analyst with Navigant, said: “It is a perfect storm of technological advancements and environmental and social forces that will lead to marked growth for networked water and gas distribution systems over the next decade.

“IoT and LPWA technologies are changing the game with newer networking protocols, such as Long Range (LoRa) and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), expected to cut the cost of a utility’s smart water or gas network drastically compared with legacy solutions.”

For more information about the report, visit Networking and Communications for Smart Water and Gas Utilities