China dominates the global market in smart meters, but that could undercut its competitiveness in the global market, according to ABI Research.
More than 45 percent of China’s Internet of Things connections stem from smart meters, thanks to the country’s investments in its utility infrastructure. According to Navigant Consulting, China is poised to have installed 437.85 million smart meters by 2020. The United States is a distant second in the global smart meter market and will have installed 132.04 million smart meters over the next four years.
“Concentrated IoT investment may mean other application segments do not get the attention deserved, particularly in advanced analytics and professional services,” said Dan Shey, vice president at ABI. “If China’s goal is to modernize industries, IoT is a strategic technology sector, but it dictates investments in the specific IoT application market serving those industries.”
The solution for China would naturally be to branch out to advanced analytics and professional services, but the country’s regulatory environment could prevent this. Should the country choose to expand into these areas, an investment in advanced analytics needs to be broad-based because each connected machine and object is unique in the data that defines it attributes and operation. Professional services, meanwhile, requires a broad range of applications and development, systems integration, solutions and hardware design services, and strategic consulting services.
“The bright side could be more opportunities for non-Chinese firms to fill in for lack of local suppliers and skill sets,” said Shey. “The growing population of China’s urban centers means opportunities for smart city services integration beyond metering markets, particularly in autonomous driving. China’s aging population also portends growth in smart home, patient monitoring, and aging-in-place services. But all of these opportunities are at the mercy of China’s fragmented regulatory environment, which already hinders market access to foreign fleet telematics and smart meter vendors.”
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)