Smart Grid Networking and Communications

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

If smart grid technology is the path to a greener, more efficient, and reliable power system, then communications technologies can be thought of as the highway that will lead the industry there. And where the road was once narrow, unpaved, and reached only critical substations, today it is being widened and extended to reach all the way to customer premises, as well as accommodate many more and larger travelers (data and applications) moving at ever higher speeds.

Although communications in the grid are not a new phenomenon, the demands upon these communications networks are growing and changing rapidly. Meanwhile, the need for security in these networks has never been greater, as the increased connectivity of critical grid infrastructure creates potential vulnerabilities. The market for smart grid networking and communications technology thus includes a growing number of competitors with a multitude of solutions and equipment. Yet, even as new or upgraded solutions are unveiled, the market is moving toward a smaller number of standards for most major applications: advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation (DA), and substation automation (SA). According to Navigant Research, cumulative global revenue for smart grid communications networking and communications equipment is expected to amount to more than $29 billion between 2014 and 2023.

This Navigant Research report analyzes the global market for smart grid networking and communications technology. The study provides a detailed analysis of market drivers and challenges, technical considerations, and key infrastructure vendors and service providers associated with communications infrastructure and services for smart grid applications. Global market forecasts for shipments, average selling prices (ASPs), and revenue, segmented by application, device type, technology, and region, extend through 2023. The report also examines spectrum availability and cyber security requirements, as well as regional factors affecting relative shares among the major communications technologies.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • Which smart grid communications platforms are gaining share – and in which markets?
  • What are the key market drivers behind smart grid applications and what are their communications requirements?
  • What are the technical specifications for the major smart grid communications platforms?
  • Where are public communications platforms – wired and wireless – gaining the most ground?
  • Where are private, utility-owned solutions still the leading choice?
  • How large is the market for smart grid communications and how quickly will it grow over the next decade?
Who needs this report?
  • Smart grid communications infrastructure vendors
  • Communications service providers
  • Cyber security vendors
  • Grid sensor vendors
  • Utilities
  • Regulators and policymakers
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1  Introduction to Smart Grid Networking and Communications

1.2  Emerging Trends and Market Drivers

1.3  Market Forecast

2. Market Issues 

2.1  Smart Grid Communications Market Overview

2.2  AMI

2.2.1   Smart Metering Communications Requirements

2.3  DA

2.3.1   DA Communications Requirements

2.4  SA

2.4.1   SCADA Systems

2.4.2   Physical Security

2.4.3   Workforce Communications

2.4.4   SA Communications Requirements

2.5  Derivative Smart Grid Applications

2.5.1   Outage and Fault Management and Outage Restoration Services

2.5.2   Asset Management and Monitoring

2.5.3   Distributed and Alternative Generation Integration

2.5.4   DR

2.5.5   Contingency and Capacity Planning

2.5.6   Workforce Automation

2.5.7   Transactive Energy

2.6  Emerging Trends in Smart Grid Communications

2.6.1   Distributed Intelligence

2.6.2   Growing Demand for LV Network Monitoring

2.6.3   Certain Communications Technologies Becoming Clear Leaders

2.6.4   Push for Interoperability and Standardization

2.6.5   Resistance to Public Cellular Is Declining

2.6.6   PLC Falling Out of Favor in North America; Still the Standard in Europe and China

2.6.7   Changeout of Legacy Telephone Company Connections

2.6.8   International Electrotechnical Commission 61850

2.6.9   Spectrum Alignment for Wireless and Utility Allocations

3. Technology Issues

3.1  Introduction

3.2  Private versus Public Communications Networks

3.3  Public Wired Technologies

3.3.1   Leased Lines

3.3.2   T-1/Time Division Multiplexing Technology

3.4  Public Wireless Technologies

3.4.1   2G/3G Cellular

3.4.2   4G Cellular

3.5  Private Wired Technologies

3.5.1   Fiber Optic Communications

   3.5.1.1  Chattanooga – EPB Case Study

3.5.2   Dedicated Copper Communications

3.5.3   PLC

3.6  Private Wireless Technologies

3.6.1   Proprietary RF Mesh

3.6.2   Wi-Fi

   3.6.2.1  Silicon Valley Power Case Study

3.6.3   Microwave Pt2Pt Links

3.6.4   Proprietary Pt2MPt Communications

3.6.5   Private WiMAX

   3.6.5.1  Wake Electric Cooperative Case Study

3.6.6   Private LTE

   3.6.6.1  GMP Case Study

3.6.7   Satellite Communications

   3.6.7.1  SCE Case Study

3.6.8   Summary Comparisons of Leading Smart Grid Technologies

3.7  Smart Grid Communications Regional Trends

3.7.1   North America

3.7.2   Europe

3.7.3   Asia Pacific

3.7.4   Latin America and the Middle East & Africa

3.8  Communications Security Issues

3.8.1   NERC-CIP v5

4. Key Industry Players   

4.1  Technology and Equipment Vendors

4.1.1   Aclara

4.1.2   Alcatel-Lucent

4.1.3   Cisco Systems

4.1.4   Elster Group

4.1.5   Ericsson

4.1.6   GE Digital Energy

4.1.7   iDirect, Inc.

4.1.8   Itron, Inc.

4.1.9   Landis+Gyr

4.1.10   OnRamp Wireless

4.1.11   RAD Data Communications

4.1.12   RuggedCom (Siemens)

4.1.13   S&C Electric

4.1.14   Sensus

4.1.15   Silver Spring Networks

4.1.16   Tantalus Systems Corp.

4.1.17   Trilliant, Inc.

4.1.18   Tropos Networks (ABB)

4.2  Communications Service Providers

4.2.1   AT&T

4.2.2   Sprint

4.2.3   Verizon Communications

4.3  Other Industry Participants

5. Market Forecasts

5.1  Global Market Forecast Definitions

5.2  Global Market Forecast Methodology

5.3  Global Smart Grid Communications Node Market Forecast

5.4  North America Smart Grid Communications Node Market Forecast

5.5  Europe Smart Grid Communications Node Market Forecast

5.6  Asia Pacific Smart Grid Communications Node Market Forecast

5.7  Latin America Smart Grid Communications Node Market Forecast

5.8  Middle East & Africa Smart Grid Communications Node Market Forecast

5.9  Conclusions and Recommendations

5.9.1   Recommendations for Smart Grid Communications Networking Solutions Vendors

5.9.2    Recommendations for Utilities

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: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, North America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, North America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Europe: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Europe: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • Simplified Grid Transmission and Distribution System
  • Typical Smart Meter Network Architecture
  • Participants in a TE System
  • Example of a SONET/SDH Application in a Utility Network
  • Mesh Network Configurations
  • Star Network Configuration
  • Example of a WiMAX Smart Grid Architecture
  • NERC Regional Entities
  • NERC-CIP v5 Transition Timeline
  • Simplified Smart Grid Communications Architecture

List of Tables

  • Smart Grid Communications Requirement Descriptions
  • Utility Benefits from AMI Deployments
  • Smart Metering NAN and AMI-WAN Communications Requirements
  • DA Communications Requirements
  • SA Communications Requirements
  • PLC Technologies
  • RF Mesh Vendors and Technology
  • Relative Comparison of Smart Grid Communications
  • NERC-CIP v5 Standards
  • NERC Regional Entities
  • Networking Communications and Software Systems Vendors, World Markets
  • Forecasted Communications Technologies
  • Smart Grid Networking Devices
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • All Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • All Node Unit Shipments Share by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, North America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, North America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, North America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, North America: 2014-2023
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2014-2023
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2014-2023
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2014-2023
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, North America: 2014-2023
  • All Node Unit Shipments by Technology, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Europe: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Europe: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Europe: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Europe: 2014-2023
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2014-2023
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2014-2023
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2014-2023
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Europe: 2014-2023
  • All Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Europe: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • All Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Asia Pacific: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • All Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Latin America: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Application, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Unit Shipments by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Average Selling Price by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • Communications Node Revenue by Device Type, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • AMI-NAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • AMI-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • DA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • SA-WAN Node Unit Shipments by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • All Node Unit Shipment Share by Technology, Middle East & Africa: 2014-2023
  • AMI-NAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • AMI-WAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • DA-WAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • SA-WAN Communications Node Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • AMI Node Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • AMI Concentrator Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Network Interface Converter Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Substation Router Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Substation Ethernet Switch Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • WAN Backbone Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Generalized Grid Router Unit Shipments and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023
  • Total Smart Grid Communications Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2014-2023

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