Smart meter deployments to double market revenue of wireless modules

[Note:  This item comes from friend Bob Frankston.  DLH]

From: “Bob Frankston” <Bob19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Subject: Smart meter deployments to double market revenue of wireless modules
Date: October 16, 2013 at 6:02:53 PM PDT
To: dewayne@warpspeed.com

I can’t help but worry when I read a quote like ““The preference for wireless [cellular] communication modules over wired technology is also owed to their incredibly secured network,”.

Trusting the cellular network to be secure (whatever that means) is a problem in itself – not only are there issues with the cellular protocols but what happens once the bits get past the towers? Depending on perimeter security is risky in that there is no protection once there is a breach.  

Of course the motivation is clear as the article states – the cellular carriers stand to make a lot of money by charging for using their network. Even if one doesn’t depend on cellular there is the cost and complexity of maintaining a parallel network.

All that protects content are protocols and encryption. There is nothing magic about RF bits – any approach that can be used for wireless bits can be used for bits over IP. Not only would using existing connectivity be far simpler and provide us with immediate benefits, the protocols would also offer the potential for users to have access to the data for their own use such as managing the power usage within their homes.

Bob Frankston

Smart meter deployments to double market revenue of wireless modules
By Esme Vos
Oct 16 2013
<http://www.muniwireless.com/2013/10/16/smart-meter-deployments-double-market-revenue/>

An increase in smart meter deployments will see the global market for wireless communication modules approximately double in value over the coming years, jumping from $532m in 2012 to $1.3 billion in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent, according to a new report from research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that North America, currently the dominant player in the market for global wireless communication modules for smart meters, will be a key driver behind the leap, with its own market revenue expected to climb steadily from $379m in 2012 to $433.7m in 2020.

Europe will also continue to account for a considerable share of the global market, thanks to a significant number of pilot-scale projects getting underway across the region. The uptake of wireless communication modules in the UK, Denmark and Ireland in particular looks promising, according to GlobalData, and these countries are predicted to occupy an even larger share of Europe’s wireless smart meter communication market by the end of 2020.

Cellular and Radio Frequency (RF) communication modules are the two key technologies used in smart meters for two-way data transmission. RF modules account for an 85 percent share of the North American market, thanks to their low cost, high bandwidth and efficient performance in industrial areas.

Ginni Hima Bindu, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Smart Grid, says: “The preference for wireless communication modules over wired technology is also owed to their incredibly secured network, and as a result, 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, while the outlook for the wireless communication modules market is largely positive, a number of challenges remain that may prevent any further growth in global revenue.

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

[snip]