Utility communication is a set of technologies and devices used to coordinate various parts of a complicated utilities distribution system. It monitors & controls grid equipment, measures network performance, and delivers real-time information. Advancement in IT systems led to the development of automated distribution networks for utilities (power, energy, etc.) for efficient functioning of modern power systems. The utility communication market is expected to witness significant growth across the world in the near future owing to automation requirement. This communication system allows well-regulated and efficient transfer of utilities such as power or gas.
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The utility communications network is a two-way communication process between all of the data points across the utility. To avoid an ecosystem of fragmented communication networks, utilities around the world are investing heavily to improve communications infrastructure. This infrastructure supports demand response (DR), distribution automation (DA), and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), fueled by regulatory requirements, government grants, and the high cost of inefficiently delivering energy.
With distributed power generation and the evolution of smarter grids gaining popularity, communication is becoming even more important in the world of utilities. Utilities are establishing to seek ample communication solutions to help manage their multi-vendor, multi-technology networks. Many utilities are struggling to extract value from existing systems because of the problems in managing multiple advanced metering infrastructure platforms. Sudden increase in power consumption, with no corresponding expansion of generation and transmission capacity, have led to increasing demand for utility communication systems around the world.
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Growth in renewable generation and distributed resources has led to the exponential development of utility communication systems. Along with renewable resource generation, smart cities projects around the globe are anticipated to garner increased adoption of utility communication during the forecast period. Majority of the countries in the world are focusing on the implementation of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) which includes the installation of smart meters and other electronic devices that enable two-way communication and data transfer between end-users and utilities.
Factors such as wrong billing, theft and fraud of power, late payments, and meter reading costs are influencing the shift from traditional metes to smart meters. These factors are anticipated to propel the demand for utility communication over the forecast period. However, the utility industry is a highly regulated industry and this is a major factor hindering the growth of this market.