According to new a research report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the installed base of water utility AMI endpoints in Europe and North America is set to double during the period 2021–2027.
At the end of 2021, the combined installed base of AMI endpoints in Europe and North America amounted to 49.6 million units. This number is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.3 percent to reach 104.9 million in 2027. The total number of communicating utility water meters – including both AMI and AMR – will at the same time grow from 145.7 million units in 2021 to 197.3 million units in 2027.
AMR includes metering points that require readings through drive-by or walk-by operations while AMI involves a fixed network communications infrastructure and supports true IoT connectivity.
Levi Ostling, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight, said:
“Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had a very negative impact on the smart water metering market in the last two years, it has nevertheless had an unexpected positive long-term effect by significantly amplifying the underlying demand for remote meter reading technologies.”
In terms of AMI connectivity, LoRaWAN and 3GPP-based LPWA technologies such as NB-IoT and LTE-M continue to be the fastest growing technology types for new water AMI deployments in Europe and North America.
In Europe, Spain has emerged as the leading European adopter of 3GPP-based LPWA communications for water AMI with several major utilities in the country now launching large-scale rollouts based on NB-IoT.
Interest for 3GPP-based LPWA is also particularly strong in markets such as the UK and the Baltics while demand for LoRaWAN has so far been more widespread across the entire European region. In North America, LTE-M currently constitutes the single fastest growing technology for new water AMI deployments while LoRaWAN has just started showing some growth after several years in the market.
“Proprietary and EN 13757-based RF communications technologies however still dominate the European and North American markets in terms of installed base and are expected to continue to serve as important connectivity options for water AMI projects in the coming years”, continued Mr. Ostling.
At the end of 2021, the companies that had accumulated the largest installed bases of water AMI endpoints in Europe included Diehl Metering, Itron, Birdz (Veolia), Sensus (Xylem) and Kamstrup. The top five in North America were Sensus, Badger Meter, Itron, Aclara (Hubbell) and Neptune Technology Group. Top 10 vendors in either of the two regions moreover included the Minol-ZENNER Group, Honeywell, the Arad Group, Mueller Systems, Landis+Gyr, Apator and Maddalena. The SUEZ subsidiary SUEZ Smart Solutions also constitutes a key player in the European water AMI market by having been instrumental to the development and deployment of Wize technology.