Utilities Are Eager To Own Cellular Networks, Heavy Reading Says

Utility companies are finding that owning an LTE network will help with reliability and availability, says Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider

Oct 16, 2014, 10:00 ET from Heavy Reading

NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Many utility companies prefer to own a wireless network in order to ensure availability and reliability, and they have found that Long Term Evolution (LTE) may be a viable option for utility applications, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, a paid research service of Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com).

LTE for Utilities: A Spectrum of Challenges & Opportunities identifies and analyzes key issues driving and inhibiting the utility market's adoption of LTE. It discusses how LTE compares to competitors such as broadband over powerline (BPL), CMDA, fiber and WiMax in terms of cost and capabilities. The report is based on interviews with a representative sample of companies in the ecosystem.

"Recent major outages highlight two of the major reasons why utility companies sometimes consider owning and operating a cellular network: availability and reliability," notes Tim Kridel, research analyst with Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider and author of the report. "Utilities don't want to have to compete with a public network's other customers for bandwidth in the aftermath of a storm or other major event, and they don't want to find out that the public network is down when they need it most because the mobile operator wasn't diligent about maintenance, such as generator fuel levels."

The cost and availability of spectrum are two major reasons why many utilities will continue to buy service from mobile operators rather than building their own networks, Kridel says. "The utility community continues to argue that it should have access to public-safety networks, spectrum or both," he continues. "If successful, those initiatives would mean a bigger addressable market for LTE vendors."

Key findings of LTE for Utilities: A Spectrum of Challenges & Opportunities include:

  • Availability and reliability are two major reasons why utilities want to own cellular networks.
  • The unavailability and cost of spectrum are two major reasons why they don't.
  • Some utilities want access to public-safety spectrum or networks, such as FirstNet.
  • Utilities prefer LTE for its longevity and global cost structure, but a host of drawbacks block investment.
  • CDMA and WiMax remain major players in the utility market, with some contracts running through 2030.
  • Regulations and bad experiences limit utility interest in expanding into value-added telecom services such as broadband.
  • Joint ventures can be a win-win for mobile operators and utilities, such as for extending LTE to rural areas for utility applications and consumer mobile services.

LTE for Utilities: A Spectrum of Challenges & Opportunities is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (6 issues per year) to Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).

To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/4glte. For more information on all Insider services, please visit www.heavyreading.com/research.

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

Bryan Gillies,
Account Executive, Insider Sales
Heavy Reading

Press/analyst contact:
Dennis Mendyk
Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading

About Heavy Reading

Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com), the research division of Light Reading, offers deep analysis of emerging telecom trends to network operators, technology suppliers, and investors. Its product portfolio includes in-depth reports that address critical next-generation technology and service issues, market trackers that focus on the telecom industry's most critical technology sectors, exclusive worldwide surveys of network operator decision-makers that identify future purchasing and deployment plans, and a rich array of custom and consulting services that give clients the market intelligence needed to compete successfully in the global telecom industry. 

About Light Reading

Light Reading (www.lightreading.com) combines its research-led online communities and targeted events portfolio to help those in the global communications industry make informed decisions. Lightreading.com is the ultimate source for telecom analysis for more than 350,000 subscribers each month, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading produces targeted communications events and focused one-day conferences each year for cable, mobile, and wireline executives across five continents.

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SOURCE Heavy Reading