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Power Line Communications Node Shipments To Reach Nearly 68 Million By 2020, Forecasts Pike Research

First introduced in the 1920s, power line communications (PLC) systems, which allow data to be sent across power lines, have long been a favorite of utilities because they leverage existing assets. Expanding deployments of advanced metering infrastructure have thrust this type of communication into the spotlight. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, total shipments of PLC nodes are projected to reach nearly 68 million units by 2020, up from 41.2 million in 2011. The lion’s share of the market will come from the Asia Pacific region, which will account for almost three-quarters of the shipments in 2020, the study concludes.

“As utilities continue to invest in smart grid infrastructure, PLC systems are often the top choice for connecting electricity or gas meters, rather than wireless based solutions,” says senior research analyst Neil Strother. “In particular, many European and Asia Pacific utilities will deploy PLC-based systems because they can be more affordable, and allow for more rapid deployments than adopting a wireless technology. Although data speeds over PLC systems are typically slower than wireless, PLC does provide a high degree of reliability.”

By sheer number of communications nodes, the bulk of utility-based PLC deployments today are focused on connecting meters. The types of PLC technology being deployed, however, vary widely. Systems range from older, legacy solutions that are used for basic meter reading and line monitoring to high-speed, broadband solutions that are being piloted in several markets. The latter solutions promise to allow a host of advanced applications to run on the same networks as today’s meter reading, load control, and protection circuits – without the need to further upgrade the infrastructure, according to the report.

The report, “Power Line Communications for Smart Grids”, focuses on the various types of PLC technology used today in each world region, in addition to providing forecasts and insights into the technologies and standards that will be deployed over the next decade, covering the range of technologies used in these networks, including PRIME, G3-PLC, IEEE P1901.2, and various proprietary technologies. Profiles of eight utilities and 16 key industry vendors are included, along with worldwide market forecasts through 2020, segmented by region and technology, for unit shipments, revenue, and average selling prices. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

About Pike Research

Pike Research, which joined Navigant’s global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Pike Research can be found at

About Navigant

Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Power Line Communications for Smart Grids ,” is a summary and reflects Pike Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Pike Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

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