Common technologies used by utilities include wireless (RF, mesh mobile network and microwave and radio communication) and wired (power line carrier, optic fiber network, and Ethernet, among others).
According to a release, modification in billing practices in power utility companies, stringent regulatory requirements for power utilities, and increasing investments in smart grids are the major drivers that will drive the utility communications market.
The release adds that utility communication technologies, especially wireless technologies, are vulnerable to hackers and natural disasters, which could hinder the growth of the utility communications market.
[quote] Mobile networks within the wireless technology segment are expected to grow at the highest rate from 2016 to 2021. Mobile networks are said to offers a low cost solution for controlling and monitoring the overall distribution automation system.
This technology provides communication between smart meters and utilities through nodes. It also enables smart metering deployments to be implemented through a wide area network.
Mobile network or cellular network technology include communication technologies, such as 2G, 3G, WiMAX, and LTE, which are available to utilities for smart metering deployments.
Asia-Pacific poised for rapid growth
Asia-Pacific has been found to be the largest market for utility communications, closely followed by North America. The Asia-Pacific market is primarily driven by countries such as China, India, Japan, and Australia where there are high demands for utility communications technologies due to the many smart grids coming up.
The market in this region is projected to grow at a high rate, with China expected to dominate the market. Increasing domestic demand for efficient power infrastructure would drive the market for power utility communication. China is expected to invest around $31 billion in smart grid projects by 2020; this will likely boost the demand for utility communications.
The release notes that some of the leading providers in the utility communication market include ABB, Ltd. (Switzerland), Siemens AG (Germany), Schneider Electric (France), General Electric (US), and Ericsson (Sweden).
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