Smart meter deployments to double wireless market revenue

An increase in smart meter deployments will see the global market for wireless communication modules approximately double in value from $532m (£329m) in 2012 to $1.3 billion in 2020.

The figures come from a report from consulting firm GlobalData, which said the uptake of wireless communication modules in the UK, Denmark and Ireland looks particularly “promising”.

GlobalData said that North America is currently the dominant player in the global wireless communication modules market for smart meters and will be a key driver behind the surge, with its own market revenue expected to climb steadily from $379m in 2012 to $433.7m in 2020.

According to the report, Europe will continue to account for a considerable share of the global market, with a significant number of pilot-scale projects getting underway across the region.

It says that countries including the UK are predicted to occupy an even larger share of Europe’s wireless smart meter communication market by the end of 2020.

Ginni Hima Bindu, an analyst at GlobalData, said: “We expect to see an increased take-up of wireless technology for smart meter deployments across North America, the UK and Japan, which will continue to drive the market over the forecast period.”

However, Bindu said that while the outlook for the wireless communication modules market is largely positive, a number of challenges remain that will prevent any further growth in global revenue.

“The problem of coverage is one of the major restraints of the market for cellular communication modules. For an indoor electric meter, GPRS technology provides just 80–85 per cent coverage, if the electric meter, or other grid device, is not moved accordingly.

“Furthermore, the high operating costs that must be paid by the utilities to mobile carriers is also off-putting,” he said.