Greentech Lead America: Revenue from satellite
services and equipment for smart grid applications will touch $368 million by
In 2012, the Revenue from satellite services and
equipment for smart grid applications was less than $67 million.
The growth is happening at a time when satellite service
providers and equipment manufacturers are pursuing the utility market.
Pike Research expects further reduction in the cost of
satellite service and equipment as bandwidth and connection speeds improve.
According to Pike Research, a number of technology
advances and declines in the price of equipment and monthly services, satellite
communications are emerging as an attractive means of connectivity for many
smart grid applications, including substation automation (SA), distribution
automation (DA), advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) backhaul, remote
monitoring, and mobile workforce applications.
“Satellite-based communications have historically been a
last resort for grid operators, mostly for remote substation connectivity,”
said Bob Gohn, vice president of Pike Research.
“But improved cost and performance is allowing satellite
communications to be used in an increasing number of grid applications,
enabling a tripling of forecasted equipment revenue over the next 8 years, with
even higher service revenue growth. Though satellite-based systems will remain
a niche technology compared with terrestrial options, utilities will
increasingly consider them in their list of communications options,” Gohn
Many utility executives wary of using satellites for
critical smart grid applications because of concerns over latency,
interoperability, security, and bandwidth efficiency.
Pike Research said these concerns are based on outdated
perceptions. New technology and product offerings have addressed many of the
cost, performance, and reliability challenges associated with earlier systems.
At 600 milliseconds, round-trip satellite communications
latency today is adequate for most smart grid applications and compares
favorably with many terrestrial options. And data rate options of up to several
megabits per second (Mbps) are commonplace, while planned systems may even be
faster than some cable or 4G broadband services today.