Smart water meter installations are expected to grow globally from 13.8 million units in 2017 to 82.1 million units by 2026, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.
Growth is being led by water-stressed countries shifting away from traditional water meters and driven by as government leaders changing policies to improve their water networks’ effectiveness and consumption levels, the report says. “This market demand has opened up growth opportunities for Internet of Things-enabled smart meters, which, in turn, has energized an entire ecosystem of metering infrastructure.”
The report Global Smart Water Meter Market, Forecast to 2026 looks at trends, market drivers and restraints, growth opportunities, revenue and unit shipment forecasts, and competitive landscape of participants in North America, South America, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and China. Frost & Sullivan’s analysis shows that China is the fastest growing smart water meter market owing to its rapid urbanization, smart city development, and favorable policies.
Three key growth areas in the smart water meter industry, according to Frost & Sullivan:
IoT-enabled AMI smart water meters fitted with low-power, wide-area network communication modules are in demand due to their higher transparency, and value-added services like leak detection and non-revenue water reduction.
New business models: As with most IoT-enabled equipment, product vendors need to establish fresh business models such as cloud-based data analysis solutions, software-as-a-service/data-as-a-service, and financial solutions to encourage adoption.
Smart water management solutions that can enhance revenue generation, predict consumption patterns, and improve billing efficiency.
Looking at the global market, the analysis shows that China is on its way to becoming the single largest market for smart meters by 2019. “Huawei, a China-based company, pioneered the implementation of an narrowband-IoT communication module for smart water metering, while Vodafone led in Europe,” the report found.
Smart water meters help crews find and fix water leaks quickly. In North America, demand for the technology is high due to utilities focusing on reducing non-revenue water losses and adopting smart billing, Frost & Sullivan says. Over the past few years, smart water meter projects have grown popular. A Navigant report from 2016 predicted that annual global revenue from smart water networks will grow to $7.2 billion in 2025.