Smart water meter market expected to ship 10 million units in 2016

The advanced water metering market, estimated at about 5.5 million global shipments in 2010, and anticipated to be roughly 10 million shipments annually in 2016, continues to increase its product share, particularly in North America, says a report by IMS Research (Wellingborough, England).

Global advanced water meter shipments accounted for over $500 million in revenue in 2010, with over 70% of this seen in the North American market.

 “North America already has a high penetration of advanced metering. While one-way meters continue to have higher unit shipments than two-way meters currently, in North America, higher growth is forecast for two-way meters over the next five years,” says Nicole Juarez, author of the report.  “The price of two-way meters are gradually becoming comparable to traditional mobile read meters, and when reviewed against possible labor cost savings; utilities are increasingly realizing that purchasing two-way meters (even ahead of fixed network infrastructure) is currently justifiable. These meters will likely be used initially in a direct or mobile read solution, until sufficient installed base exists within a manageable metering family to upgrade to a fixed network.”

The majority of advanced water meter growth is being driven by North America, with the highest estimated advanced water meter shipments in 2010, accounting for over 55% of this region’s total annual water meter shipments. Specifically, two-way meters are forecast to have significant growth in North America, increasing from a small fraction of the market in 2010, to an anticipated third of the overall market in 2016. This is by far the highest percentage of two-way meters of any region currently, and forecast, says the research firm.

It should be noted, however, that globally, advanced water meter shipments remain a small percentage of total water meter shipments. This is because the largest water meter market, Asia, predominantly consists of basic water meters. Of global water meter unit shipments in 2010, 6% were advanced water meters, estimated to grow to over 8% by 2016.

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