January 17, 2013
Instead of running disparate and discrete networks for each type of equipment across their grids, utilities are increasingly turning to private field area networks (FANs) to deliver advanced applications across common platforms. The growth of these networks is best reflected in the growth of communication nodes being deployed in a utility’s field of operations, which includes nodes for advanced metering infrastructure, nodes used to manage the distribution network, and nodes to connect substations. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, deployments of these networks – specifically in the form of wireless communications nodes using radio frequency (RF) mesh, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, or Long Term Evolution technologies – will expand steadily over the next several years after a two-year period of contraction in 2012 and 2013. Revenue from these wireless communications nodes will surpass $428 million worldwide by 2020, the study concludes.
“Utilities have realized the value in creating interconnected communications networks that enable them to better manage the distribution grid,” says senior research analyst Bob Lockhart. “In addition to the operational efficiencies of creating a scalable, common management platform, private wireless FANs provide a system-wide view of the grid on a single platform.”
Vendors have realized that across the distribution network, a variety of wireless transport technologies are more likely to be put in place, rather than a single, overarching technology, according to the report. This is a function of both financial pressures and operational efficiency. As a result, most utilities and vendors envision the current and future FAN as an amalgamation of a variety of transport protocols and networks—some owned by the utility and some leased from telecommunications providers.
The report, “Private Wireless Utility Field Area Networks”, examines the use of privately owned, built, and managed wireless technology infrastructure used to deploy field area networks. The report covers the range of technologies used in these networks, including RF mesh, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, LTE, and proprietary wireless systems. Profiles of 16 key industry vendors are included along with worldwide market forecasts, segmented by region and technology, for unit shipments, revenue, and average selling prices through 2020. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.
Contact: Richard Martin
* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Private Wireless Utility Field Area Networks,” is a summary and reflects Pike Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Pike Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.