Satellite Services to Become Smart Grid Player

Satellite Services to Become Smart Grid Player

Vice president Bob Gohn explains, “Satellite-based communications have historically been a last resort for grid operators, mostly for remote substation connectivity. But improved cost and performance is allowing satellite communications to be used in an increasing number of grid applications, enabling a tripling of forecasted equipment revenue over the next 8 years, with even higher service revenue growth. Though satellite-based systems will remain a niche technology compared with terrestrial options, utilities will increasingly consider them in their list of communications options.”

The Satellite Communications for Smart Grid Applications report notes that utility executives hesitate using satellites for critical smart grid applications because of concerns over latency, interoperability, security, and bandwidth efficiency. Pike’s analysis, however, suggests some of this wariness is based on outdated perceptions.

Pike observes, “New technology and product offerings have addressed many of the cost, performance, and reliability challenges associated with earlier systems. At 600 milliseconds, round-trip satellite communications latency today is adequate for most smart grid applications and compares favorably with many terrestrial options. And data rate options of up to several megabits per second (Mbps) are commonplace, while planned systems may even be faster than some cable or 4G broadband services today.”

Satellite Communications for Smart Grid Applications, examines the economics and dynamics of satellite communications as it relates to smart grid deployments. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download at

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