Friday, 04 January 2019 03:05

APAC out front in smart meter deployments, revenues: report

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Global smart meter revenues are predicted to reach US$14 billion by 2026 as water and gas meter shipments enjoy double-digit revenue growth over the next five years — including a growth explosion in the Asia Pacific region — according to UK-based analysis and research firm ABI Research.

Regionally, the Asia Pacific followed by Europe and North America are currently the largest markets for smart meter shipments and predicted to continue to be throughout the forecast period.

But ABI cautions that there’s a significant price pressure for lower cost smart meters in the Asia Pacific and Europe regions that is slowing revenue growth over the forecast period.

In the APAC region, ABI says that India is coming out of successful pilots and preparing for large-scale roll-outs of smart electricity meters to replace over 300 million metering points.

In 2018 in the APAC region, request for proposals from government-owned public utilities were initiated for 10 million smart meters to replace traditional meters and connect to 2G and 3G networks. Water and gas meters have also been witnessing traction from utilities in city-wide rollouts.

“As smart electricity meter roll-outs near completion in China, there is an increasing focus on utility smart gas and water meter roll-outs. LPWA network technologies will be popular choices for these metering segments with LoRaWAN technology from ZTE CLAA in China and TATA communications in India competing with telcos’ NB-IoT networks in the region,” said Adarsh Krishnan, principal analyst at ABI Research.

“In Europe, there’s a steady ramp-up of smart meter shipments until 2019 with strong growth in electricity and gas metering shipments. The growing footprint of LPWA networks in Europe will drive the uptake of smart metering infrastructure among water utilities to become the second largest market after the Asia Pacific region.”

ABI says the projected global revenue growth is welcome news in a market where smart electricity shipments are contracting and greatly slowing growth of overall revenues across the entire metering segment.

The report says that energy and water utility meter installations will result in annual shipments of 151 million smart meters in 2018 and will grow at a CAGR of 3.2% to reach 193 million units by 2026.

ABI reports that utilities are currently the leading adopters of IoT technology, deploying 618 million smart meters in 2018, while meter-to-cash is the primary application driver for smart meter implementation and monetisation opportunities for both energy and water utilities.

“Operating in data-rich environments, energy utilities are starting to spend more on implementing analytics platforms using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to not only improve customer experience but also to improve energy efficiency, reliability and identify early potential infrastructure and service issues,” Krishnan said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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