UTC: Utilities could spend $3.2 billion on telecom in 2011

The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) -- an international trade association representing the information and communications technology (ICT) interests of electric, gas, and water utilities -- has released a study that indicates utilities in the United States could spend at least $3.2 billion on telecommunications equipment and services in 2011.

The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) -- an international trade association representing the information and communications technology (ICT) interests of electric, gas, and water utilities -- has released a study that indicates utilities in the United States could spend at least $3.2 billion on telecommunications equipment and services in 2011. If achieved, this figure would be a 3% increase over estimated spending in 2010 and a 21% improvement over the estimated $2.64 billion utilities spent in 2009.

The study, Utilities Telecom Spending Market Forecast, attempts to estimate utility spending on transport networks, leased lines, land mobile radio, and other communications technologies. The study indicates that approximately $1 billion will go to advanced two-way metering and associated networking. This would represent approximately 32% of the total telecom outlay, the largest category recorded in the survey. Transport network technologies such as fiber, microwave, WiMAX would receive the second greatest share, about $813 million.

UTC says the study indicates that wireless communications is the hottest technology among utilities. The study indicates spending on wireless communications as a percentage of overall telecom budgets could double over the next five years, from 28% in 2011 to 50% in 2016.

“The vast majority of utilities perform their own telecom operations, particularly now as smart grid technologies fuel the modernization of the nation’s energy grid,” Connie Durcsak, president and CEO of UTC, said. “Our study once again confirms that utilities are important players in the telecommunications world, investing billions of dollars annually to build communications infrastructures that ensure efficient, reliable, and safe delivery of critical utility services to all Americans.”

Utilities Telecom Spending Market Forecast presents extensive data on the types of telecom equipment and services utilities purchase as well as the purchasing process for communications-related equipment and services. The study’s report presents statistics on the key factors that lead utility technologists to purchase particular vendors’ products and services as well as individual vendor satisfaction ratings by the survey respondents.

Sponsored by Harris Corp., the nearly 60-page Utilities Telecom Spending Market Forecast is available to UTC’s core utility members at no charge. UTC associate members and non-members can purchase the report via the UTC’s online store.


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