Worldwide smart meter shipments surpassed 15.4 million units in the
third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), representing year-over-year growth of
126.9% and a 58.6% increase over the second quarter, according to the IDC
Energy Insights Worldwide
Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker.
Growth was observed across all regions except for the Americas, as
several large projects came to completion in the previous quarter. Latin
and South America remain promising, but scale projects have not yet
emerged to replace the decline in North American shipments.
The Asia/Pacific region grew at an astonishing rate of 516.8% year over
year and 142.02% sequentially. Much of this growth can be attributed to
China; Chinese utilities are beginning to equip meters deployed under
previous metering tenders with communications. The Asia/Pacific region
will remain a source of growth for the smart metering industry in coming
years as Japan, Korea, Oceana and even South and Southeast Asia begin to
ramp up advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployments.
While the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region exhibited growth
of 54.5% year over year and 8.5% sequentially, this performance stands
well below the expectations set by previous regulatory targets. Petr
Stabrawa, senior research analyst at IDC Energy Insights, noted,
"The current growth in Europe looks unimpressive, particularly when
compared to some of the Asian markets. It is therefore not surprising
that the AMI industry is becoming increasingly frustrated with Europe.
At this stage, however, there are no indications that meter shipments
will pick u significantly before 2014, although more tenders will be
announced next year."
One trend that has developed in recent quarters is the growth of
cellular AMI communications. IDC Energy Insights forecasts that cellular
will reach 17% of smart meter shipments in the more mature metering
markets of Europe and North America by 2016, up from less than 8% in
Chuang, senior research analyst for IDC Energy Insights, added that,
"In some markets, such as the UK, growth in cellular will be driven by
unique market needs. In other markets, declining public cellular rates
and the desire to use the AMI network as common infrastructure will
drive utilities to take a hard look at higher-bandwidth networks for new
While many of the basic metering upgrades underway in Asia/Pacific and
other emerging markets are likely to deploy power line communications
(PLC), high bandwidth networks have also been deployed in other regions.
For example, 3G and 4G-WiMax utility networks deployed in Australia are
currently being utilized as common infrastructure for metering and
distribution monitoring and control. Many of these Australian networks
may eventually be displaced by FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) through the
Australian National Broadband Network.
A graphic illustrating the AMI communications share of the smart meter
market in mature economies (Europe and North America) for the 2012-2016
forecast period is available at IDC.com. The chart is intended for
public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how
to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this
press release on IDC.com.
For additional information about the Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter
Tracker, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing, please contact Kathy
Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or email@example.com.
Note: According to IDC Energy Insights, smart meters are defined
as solid state electric meters with integrated two-way communications
capabilities. Smart meters support multiple wireless and power line
communications technologies and enable a range of energy efficiency and
demand response applications.
About IDC Energy InsightsIDC Energy Insights provides
research-based advisory and consulting services focused on market and
technology developments in the energy and utility industries. Staffed by
senior analysts with decades of industry experience, IDC Energy Insights
covers both the utility and oil & gas segments, providing independent,
timely, and relevant analysis focused on key business and technology
issues. IDC Energy Insights serves a diverse and growing global client
base, including electric, gas and water utilities, IT suppliers,
independent power producers, retail energy providers, oil and gas
companies, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, financial
institutions, and professional services firms. International Data
is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory
services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a
subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and
events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-ei.com,
email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call
508-935-4400. Visit the IDC Energy Insights Community at http://idc-insightscommunity.com/energy.
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