Mass roll-outs in China continue to push the global smart meter market, which had nearly 210 million units installed as of 2014. The Asia-Pacific region will account for almost 65% of the global installed base in 2020, when the worldwide installed base will reach 780 million.
Senior analyst Adarsh Krishnan comments, “In Europe, nationwide rollouts in E.U. member states are expected to drive the smart meter penetration. This will make Europe the second biggest market for smart meters by installed base. The region will overtake North America, where mass roll-outs by large utilities peaked already in 2012, leaving the next wave of installations driven by smaller municipal co-operatives.”
At the moment, power line communication (PLC) technologies—such as PLAN, PLC Prime, and G3 PLC—represent the largest share of connections. The early adoption of PLC-enabled smart meters in Italy, Spain, and China has given the technology its current momentum.
Meanwhile, cellular connectivity is witnessing a growing adoption, especially in cases where meter implementations are dispersed. Cellular is also gaining wider acceptance as a feasible, primary connectivity technology, with subscription costs decreasing and utilities becoming more open to using public networks for their smart meter deployments.
The supplier landscape is mostly dominated by traditional meters vendors such as Landis+Gyr, Itron, Sensus, Elster, Holley Metering, and Kamstrup which provide end-to-end smart metering solutions. The incumbent vendors are, however, facing stiff competition from new entrants, with the market beginning to favor more modular AMI solutions.
Principal analyst Aapo Markkanen adds, “As the industry evolves, standards-based solutions are becoming an attractive alternative to many utilities. This shift is allowing forward-thinking module vendors like Trilliant, Silver Spring Networks, and EnVerv to gain ground against the traditional metering vendors and their proprietary solutions.”
These findings are part of ABI Research’s Smart Metering Devices and Services Update study. It is part of ABI Research’s M2M and IoT Modules and Devices Market Research (https://www.abiresearch.com/market-research/service/m2m-modules/).