Spending on communications for smart grid deployments is accelerating as utilities demand more robust networks that can be leveraged for a growing range of applications. Vendors and service providers have responded by improving the suitability of their communications platforms for a variety of applications – not only smart meters, but also for enhanced distribution automation applications. According to a new report from Navigant Research, the number of communications node shipments associated with the smart grid will rise to 133.3 million worldwide by 2018, up from 91.8 million in 2013. The volume of shipments will decline slightly in 2019-2020, the study concludes. “Managing the buildout, security, and optimization of the communications network for the smart grid represents one of the great challenges and opportunities in the power sector today,” says Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “The industry has made significant strides in just a few years; accordingly, many of the expectations and assumptions from as little as two or three years ago have shifted dramatically.” Previously, many smart grid communications devices were part of specialized, proprietary systems. Over the past 18 months, however, vendors have recognized the value in supporting standards-based technologies. This has resulted, according to the report, in unprecedented activity and cooperation among many stakeholders. The report, “Smart Grid Networking and Communications”, analyzes recent developments in the global smart grid communications market. Nearly two dozen communications technologies are explained in detail, and use cases are described. The study also examines the shifting funding environments and changing priorities of utilities and how communications equipment and services are evolving to meet those demands. Updated market forecasts for smart grid communications nodes and devices, segmented by device type, application, technology, and region, extend through 2020. The report also examines how vendors are positioning their products in the smart grid communications market and provides profiles of players active in global smart grid projects. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website. About Navigant ResearchNavigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about 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 Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at www.navigantresearch.com. About NavigantNavigant (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 www.navigant.com. * The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Smart Grid Networking and Communications ,” is a summary and reflects Navigant 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 Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.