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Connecting Water Infrastructure: Telecom Company Strategies in the Global Digital Water Market

29 June 2021
Market Insight

The growing digitization of the global water, wastewater, and stormwater industry is creating significant utility demand for telecommunications solutions. Utilities are collecting and moving more data than ever before across disparate network assets, customers, and staff.

Incumbent and emerging telecom firms—cellular and cable providers, Internet of Things (IoT) network operators, networking component OEMs—are well-positioned to meet this increased demand for digital water connectivity, leveraging their existing network infrastructure footprints and market relationships.

Drawing from Bluefield’s proprietary datasets, primary research, and market analysis, this Market Insight evaluates the digital water strategies of leading telecom players across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and the implications for established digital water companies.

Table of Contents

Report Summary
Report Scope and Methodology
Section 1. Telecom Drivers for Digital Water Market Entry
1.1 Bluefield Takeaways – Telecom Drivers for Digital Water Market Entry
1.2 Digital Transformation of Water Industry Fuels Demand for Connectivity, IoT
1.3 Municipal Water Presents Unique Opportunities, Challenges for Telecom Firms
1.4 Digital Water Connectivity Needs Vary by Use Case
1.5 Telecom Incumbents Face Saturation, Commoditization of Core Markets
1.6 Global IoT Market Presents Attractive Growth Prospects for Telecom Players
1.7 LPWAN Protocols Open New Doors for Telecom Incumbents, Newcomers
1.8 Cellular Carriers Look to 5G to Accelerate IoT Market Growth
1.9 5G, Cellular LPWAN Protocols Gain Traction in North American Markets
1.10 Local Players, Geopolitics Shape Network Adoption in European Markets
1.11 National Priorities Create Mixed Network Preferences in Asia Pacific Markets

Section 2. Telecoms’ Competitive Positioning in Digital Water
2.1. Bluefield Takeaways – Telecom Strategies & Competitive Positioning
2.2. Research Methodology Overview
2.3. Selected Telecom Firms Serve Key Global Digital Water Markets
2.4. Revenues Highlight Gap Between Cellular Incumbents, LPWAN Disrupters
2.5. Telecom Strategies Hinge on Partnerships, IoT Domain Knowledge
2.6. Telecom Players Stake Out Strategic Positions in Digital Water Market
2.7. Telecom Firms Leverage Diverse Value Chain Positions to Expand into Water
2.8 North American Telecom Firms Seek Differentiation in Network Offerings
2.9 European Telecom Firms Seek Differentiation in Network Offerings
2.10 Asia Pacific Telecom Firms Seek Differentiation in Network Offerings
2.11 Competitive & Regulatory Trends Set to Drive, Disrupt Market Activity

Section 3. Telecom Company Profiles
NORTH AMERICA
• AT&T
• Bell Canada
• Cisco
• Comcast (MachineQ)
• Cox Communications / Cox2M
• Eleven-X
• Motorola Solutions
• Rogers Communications
• Semtech
• Senet
• T-Mobile
• Verizon
EUROPE
• A1 Telekom Austria
• BT Group (EE)
• Ericsson
• Kerlink
• KPN
• Nokia
• Orange
• Sigfox
• Telefónica
• Telenor
• Three UK
• Vodafone Group
ASIA PACIFIC
• Huawei
• NNNCo
• NTT DoCoMo
• SK Telecom
• Telstra
• Thinxtra

Key Features

  • Trends and market development driving telecom firms’ interest in water
  • Opportunities and challenges for telecom firms entering water
  • Competitive analysis of telecom company landscape
  • Profiles of top 30 telecom players. Profiles include:
    − Key Water Projects
    − Digital Water Strategic Positions
    − Water-Related Partnerships
    − Protocols Supported

Takeaways

Sample Insights:

  • Leading global cell carriers and cable providers face market saturation, commoditization, and disruption, with new activations, total customer counts flattening or declining in key markets like the U.S. and the U.K.
  • The commercial & industrial IoT market represents an attractive growth opportunity for incumbent and emerging telecom providers, with the global connected device count expected to scale at a 19.2% CAGR between 2018 and 2023.
  • Digital water, a key IoT market vertical, has seen a 53.0% increase in project activity since 2016, though the sector’s limited budgets, long sales cycles, and high domain expertise requirements pose challenges for telecom players.

Companies Mentioned

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Related Podcast: Telecom Strategies Emerge at the Center of Digital Water

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"Wastewater treatment usually takes a back seat to drinking water which is more at the forefront of people’s minds in terms of public health and safety.” @ErinBonneyCasey on @Marketplace. hubs.ly/H0T3KCn0 by @KA_marketplace #WastewaterTreatment

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