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Shipments of Cellular Communications Nodes for Smart Grids Will Surpass 16 Million Annually by 2022, Forecasts Navigant Research
[December 19, 2013]

Shipments of Cellular Communications Nodes for Smart Grids Will Surpass 16 Million Annually by 2022, Forecasts Navigant Research

BOULDER, Colo. --(Business Wire)--

Long accustomed to using private networks, such as power line communications and radio frequency mesh, for transmitting power grid data, utilities are increasingly turning to public cellular networks for smart grid communications. While European utilities have been using cellular for some time, North American firms have only recently begun to commit to public networks for critical smart grid applications. Cellular networks are also expected to play a significant role in supporting large-scale smart meter rollouts across the Asia Pacific region. Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide shipments of public cellular communications nodes for smart grid applications will grow from fewer than 3 million annually in 2013 to 16.3 million in 2020.

"Smart grid investments are dependent upon reliable, ubiquitous communications and not all utilities have the resources to build and manage these networks themselves," says Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "Public cellular networks are beginning to make headway in the utility environment thanks to a convergence of factors, including dramatically reduced pricing for cellular machine-to-machine connectivity, ubiquitous network coverage, and significantly improved reliability and security."

However, utilities face a number of challenges in shifting to cellular, according to the report. For example, cellular carriers typically update their technology every 3 to 5 years, while utilities operate on a 10- to 15-year lifecycle. In addition, particularly in North merica, utilities are incentivized to make capital investments, which can be recovered in rate cases, versus increasing their operating expenses. Public cellular service adds to a utility's operating expense line, which may lower profitability.

The report, "Public Carrier Networks for Smart Grids", examines the global market opportunity for cellular smart grids. The study provides an analysis of the drivers, market challenges, and technology issues that will shape the market over the coming decade. Global market forecasts for public cellular communications nodes, segmented by application, region, and technology, extend through 2020. The report also profiles the key vendors, utilities, and carriers related to the cellular smart grid ecosystem. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

About Navigant Research

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at

About Navigant

Navigant is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, "Public Carrier Networks for Smart Grids," is a summary and reflects Navigant 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 Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

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