New IDC Energy Insights MarketScape Study Evaluates Vendor Solutions in the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Communication Network Market

FRAMINGHAM, MA – April 6, 2011 – IDC Energy Insights today announced the availability of a new IDC MarketScape report assessing vendor solutions in the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communication network market. IDC MarketScape vendor analysis reports are designed to identify the factors most conducive to success in a given market, and then assess vendors participating in this market against those factors. The studies utilize a rigorous scoring methodology that produces a definitive assessment of each vendor's current market capabilities, and outlines strategies for competing in the future.

According to IDC Energy Insights' new report, IDC MarketScape: North American AMI Communication Network 2011 Vendor Assessment (Document #EI227555), scalability, integration and interoperability, and customer service are three of the most important evaluation criteria utilities should be using to assess an AMI communication network solutions vendor.

The assessment coincides with significant utility investment activity and massive ramp-up in this market. Recent legislation has generated widespread interest in increasing "smart grid" technology investments to improve intelligence in the electric distribution network. As such, utilities are undertaking initiatives to deploy smart meters and the AMI infrastructure upon which they run. In fact, IDC Energy Insights forecasts that by 2015, North American smart meter deployments will reach 88 million, representing a penetration rate of 51.4%.

Smart meters and AMI provide multiple benefits to utilities, including enabling more accurate and faster billing cycles, reducing the costs of sending employees and vehicles to collect meter readings, and identifying and restoring power due to outages. In addition, the smart meter technology can deliver electricity-health measurements on power quality, enabling utility operations to evaluate adjustments to optimize electricity delivery.

AMI communication networks are used to connect smart meters initially, and in the future will connect a range of intelligent devices behind the meter as well as in the field on the distribution grid. There are significant longer-term opportunities for utilities to leverage the AMI network infrastructure to support future innovative devices for distribution automation, sensors and control devices, and consumer in-home devices for energy management.

"First and foremost, an AMI communication network solution needs to work seamlessly with the smart meters attached to it. However, the network's integration and interoperability capabilities allow it to act as a gateway for future innovation," said Marcus Torchia, research manager for IDC Energy Insights' Intelligent Grid Strategiesresearch advisory service. "Leveraging common infrastructure will become essential to reaching the best possible ROI per investment dollar, while maintaining maximum flexibility to engage the additional opportunities the smart grid creates. This is one of the reasons that scalability is such an essential criteria in our assessment."

The study evaluates seven companies: Landis+Gyr is recognized in the "Leaders" category. Elster, Itron, Silver Spring Networks, Trilliant, and Sensus are identified as "Major Players," and Aclara is in the "Contenders" category.

This report focuses on AMI communication networks that use wireless communication network technology, and is focused on the North American marketplace, where the vast majority of the infrastructure will operate on wireless technology. The vendors included in the assessment are those that sell to utilities that purchase and own the communication network infrastructure, rather than those that own the network and sell network access to the utilities.

For additional information about IDC Energy Insights research initiatives or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Marcus Torchia, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-794-3214 or sarahbethmurray@gmail.com. Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact info@idc-ei.com.

About IDC MarketScape

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT (information and communications technology) suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT and telecommunications vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360-degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.

About IDC Energy Insights

IDC Energy Insights assists energy businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the utility and oil and gas industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-ei.com, email info@idc-ei.com, or call 508-935-4400. Visit the IDC Energy Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/energy.

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