Smart Grid Networking and Communications

Public and Private, Wired and Wireless Networks for Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Distribution Automation, and Substation Automation:
Market Analysis and Forecasts

As the era of utility-driven smart grid projects enters its second decade, industry focus is expanding beyond smart meter deployments to include distribution automation projects that can quickly provide operating benefits and efficiency, such as outage notification and restoration and conservation voltage reduction (CVR). Other emerging projects will support not only large, utility-scale generation sources, but also consumer-level applications, including electric vehicle (EV) chargers, PV solar installations, and (eventually) residential energy storage. Globally, smart grid pilots are being started across Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, areas that had been slow to warm to the promise of a more intelligent, automated, and responsive power grid. And European nations are ramping up their deployments ahead of the 20-20-20 deadline.

Meanwhile, communications technology is evolving rapidly and vendors and service providers are working aggressively to position their products to meet the expanded needs of utilities. IP-based standards are becoming commonplace and recent generations of wireless technologies, including RF mesh, point-to-multipoint, WiMAX, and LTE, are showing greater potential for smart grid applications over the long run. As a result of the dynamic marketplace, Navigant Research now sees a substantially larger opportunity for smart grid communications through 2020. The number of communications node shipments is forecast to rise to 124.7 million in 2020, up from 91.7 million in 2012, and revenue will peak at nearly $3.3 billion in 2018.

This Navigant Research report analyzes recent developments in the global smart grid communications market. Nearly two dozen communications technologies are explained in detail and use cases are described. The study also examines the shifting funding environments and changing priorities of utilities, and how communications equipment and services are evolving to meet those demands. Updated market forecasts for smart grid communications nodes and devices, segmented by device type, application, technology, and region, extend through 2020. The report examines how vendors are positioning their products in the smart grid communications market and provides profiles of market players active in smart grid projects globally.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • How are smart grid communications technologies evolving?
  • Which wired and wireless communications technologies are being deployed for which smart grid applications?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of each smart grid communications technology?
  • How are service providers shifting their offerings for utilities deploying smart grid applications?
  • How will the shifts in smart meter deployments globally affect the sale of communications nodes?
  • What are the global and regional outlooks for smart grid communications node shipments and revenue?
Who needs this report?
  • Smart grid hardware and software companies
  • Networking and telecommunications equipment vendors
  • Telecommunications service providers
  • Systems integrators and consultants
  • Electric, water, and gas utilities
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1  Introduction to Smart Grid Communications

1.2  The Network Architecture

1.3  Market Shifts

1.4  Smart Grid Communications Forecast Overview

2. Market Issues

2.1  Introduction

2.2  Electrical Grid Overview

2.3  Smart Metering and AMI

2.3.1   Why Smart Meters?

2.3.1.1  Smart Meter Utility Operating Benefits

2.3.1.2  Consumer Energy Use Reduction Benefits

2.3.1.3  Demand Response

2.3.1.4  Net Metering, Local Generation, and Electric Vehicle Support

2.3.2   AMI Architecture

2.3.3   Smart Metering Communications Requirements

2.4  Distribution Automation

2.4.1   Basic Automation

2.4.2   Distribution Automation Communications Requirements

2.5  Substation Automation

2.5.1   SCADA Systems

2.5.2   Physical Security

2.5.3   Workforce Communications

2.5.4   Substation Automation Communications Requirements

2.6  Derivative Smart Grid Applications

2.6.1   Outage, Fault Management, and Outage Restoration Services

2.6.2   Asset Management and Monitoring

2.6.3   Distributed and Alternative Generation Integration

2.6.4   Demand Response

2.6.5   Contingency and Capacity Planning

2.6.6   Workforce Automation

2.7  Market Considerations for Communications Providers

3. Technology Issues

3.1  Introduction

3.2  Private versus Public Communications Networks

3.3  Public Wired Technologies

3.3.1   Plain Old Telephone Service

3.3.2   Time Division Multiplexing

3.3.3   Broadband

3.4  Public Wireless Technologies

3.4.1   2G/3G Cellular

3.4.2   4G Cellular

3.4.3   Market Environment and Business Structure

3.4.4   Technology Challenges

3.4.4.1  Availability and Reliability

3.4.4.2  Latency

3.4.4.3  Interoperability

3.4.5   Security Concerns

3.5  Private Wired Technologies

3.5.1   Fiber Optic Communications

3.5.2   Dedicated Copper Communications

3.5.3   Power Line Communications

3.5.3.1  Low Speed Power Line Communications

3.5.3.2  Narrowband Power Line Carrier

3.5.3.2.1.       Echelon LonWorks

3.5.3.2.2.       PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution (PRIME)

3.5.3.2.3.       IEC 61334-5-x Standards

3.5.3.2.4.       CENELEC EN 50090 (Konnex/KNX)

3.5.3.2.5.       Meters and More

3.5.3.2.6.       G3-PLC Specification

3.5.3.2.7.       IEEE P1901.2

3.5.3.3  Broadband over Power Line

3.6  Private Wireless Technologies

3.6.1   Proprietary RF Mesh

3.6.2   IEEE 802.15.4 Standards

3.6.2.1  IEEE 802.15.4g

3.6.2.2  Wireless M-Bus

3.6.3   Wi-Fi

3.6.4   Microwave Point-to-Point Links

3.6.5   Proprietary Point-to-Multipoint Communications

3.6.6   Private WiMAX

3.6.7   Private LTE

3.6.8   Satellite Communications

3.6.9   Summary Comparisons

4. Key Industry Players

4.1  Introduction

4.2  Key Smart Grid Technology Vendors

4.2.1   ABB/Tropos Networks Inc.

4.2.2   Ambient Corp.

4.2.3   CURRENT Group, LLC

4.2.4   Echelon Corporation

4.2.5   Elster Group

4.2.6   Itron, Inc.

4.2.7   Landis+Gyr

4.2.8   Sensus

4.2.9   Silver Spring Networks

4.2.10  Trilliant Inc.

4.3  Other Selected Smart Grid Communications Vendors

4.3.1   Aclara (ESCO Technologies)

4.3.2   Alcatel-Lucent

4.3.3   Cisco Systems

4.3.4   Cooper Power Systems

4.3.5   FreeWave Technologies

4.3.6   GE Digital Energy

4.3.7   Holley Metering Ltd.

4.3.8   iDirect, Inc.

4.3.9   Jasper Wireless

4.3.10  RuggedCom Inc.

4.3.11  S&C Electric Company

4.3.12  Texas Instruments

4.4  Communications Service Providers

4.4.1   AT&T

4.4.2   KT

4.4.3   O2

4.4.4   Sprint Nextel

4.4.5   Verizon

5. Market Forecasts

5.1  Smart Grid Communications Global Forecast and Methodology

5.1.1   Worldwide Forecast

5.1.2   Worldwide Forecast by Device Type

5.1.3   Worldwide Forecast by Technology

5.1.4   Worldwide Forecast by Region

5.2  North America Smart Grid Communications Forecast

5.3  Europe Smart Grid Communications Forecast

5.4  Asia Pacific Smart Grid Communications Forecast

5.5  Latin America Smart Grid Communications Forecast

5.6  Middle East & Africa Smart Grid Communications Forecast

5.7  Communications Device Forecast Risks

5.8  Conclusions and Recommendations

6. Company Directory
7. Acronym and Abbreviation List
8. Table of Contents
9. Table of Charts and Figures
10. Scope of Study, Sources and Methodology, Notes

List of Charts and Figures

  • Communications Node Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Market Distribution by Technology, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, North America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, United States: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Canada: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Europe: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • Simplified Grid Transmission and Distribution System
  • Typical Smart Meter Network Architecture
  • SCADA System General Layout
  • Example of a SONET/SDH Application in a Utility Network
  • Mesh Network Configurations
  • Star Network Configuration
  • Example of a WiMAX Smart Grid Application

List of Tables

  • Communications Requirement Descriptions
  • Smart Metering NAN and AMI-WAN Communications Requirements
  • Distribution Automation Communications Requirements
  • Substation Automation Communications Requirements
  • Power Line Communications Technologies
  • RF Mesh Vendors and Technology
  • Relative Comparison of Smart Grid Communications
  • ABB/Tropos SWOT Analysis
  • Ambient SWOT Analysis
  • CURRENT SWOT Analysis
  • Echelon SWOT Analysis
  • Elster SWOT Analysis
  • Itron SWOT Analysis
  • Landis+Gyr SWOT Analysis
  • Sensus SWOT Analysis
  • Silver Spring Networks SWOT Analysis
  • Trilliant SWOT Analysis
  • Forecasted Communications Technologies
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • All Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, North America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, North America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, North America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, North America: 2012-2020
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2012-2020
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2012-2020
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2012-2020
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, United States: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, United States: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, United States: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Canada: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Canada: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Canada: 2012-2020
  • Communication Node Unit Shipments by Application, Europe: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Europe: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Europe: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Europe: 2012-2020
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2012-2020
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2012-2020
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2012-2020
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2012-2020
  • AMI-NAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • AMI-WAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • DA-WAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • SA-WAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • AMI Node Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • AMI Concentrator Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Network Interface Converter Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Substation Router Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Substation Ethernet Switch Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • WAN Backbone Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Generalized Grid Router Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Total Smart Grid Communications Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Public Service Provider Smart Grid Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Wireline Public Service Provider Smart Grid Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020
  • Wireless Public Service Provider Smart Grid Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2012-2020

Report Details

  • Pages: 92
  • Tables, Charts,
    Figures:
    106
  • Release Date: 3Q 2013

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