Monitoring, Metering and Billing Systems for Utilities

Published - Oct 2001| Analyst - Andy Rao| Code - EGY020B
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Report Highlights

  • Major changes in the telecommunications billing industry include centralization of billing, a single bill for multiple services delivered to multiple locations and consolidation of billing systems. Currently estimated at $1.05 billion, the telecommunication billing industry is expected to reach $1.65 billion by 2005, as it grows at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 8%.
  • The demand for all types of utility power meters in the U.S. reached $326 million in 1999 and rose to over $335 million by the end of 2000. Between 2000 and 2005, the demand for all types of power meters for utilities will grow by 3.7% per annum and cross $400 million by the end of 2005.
  • The demand for all types of utility gas meters in the U.S. reached nearly $144 million in 1999 and rose to $149.5 million by the end of 2000. Between 2000 and 2005, the demand for all types of gas meters for utilities will grow at an average annual rate of 4% to reach $181.8 million by the end of 2005.
  • The demand for all types of utility water meters in the U.S. reached over $148 million in 1999 and rose to over $153 million by the end of 2000. Between 2000 and 2005, the demand for all types of water meters for utilities will grow by 3.2% each year and cross $179 million by the end of 2005.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

BCC's goal in conducting this study is to evaluate the market potential for major products and services used in billing services for the utility industry. Aware of the increasing integration within the power, gas and water sectors of the traditional utility industry with the telecommunications services industry, this report includes developments in power, gas, water and telephony services. Additionally, increasing automation of billing services and technologies supported by both Internet and non-Internet infrastructures has been given special consideration in analyzing the industry.

The report focuses on types of technologies, activities of main vendors, competition and related issues as well as projected growth of the main segments of the industry through the year 2005. While early billing efforts were mainly based on proprietary systems, with varying degrees of automation and computerization, the emergence of remote information gathering systems based on wired and wireless systems (Internet and non-Internet) is set to revolutionize the industry. Growth in the volume and range of applications in the telephony, power, water and gas industries, especially the demand for value added services in the deregulated telephony and utility industries and their gradual integration, has increased the demand for automated billing systems.

This is especially relevant in the prevailing atmosphere of increased competition and choices that the commercial, industrial and residential customers enjoy in selecting their telephony and utility service providers. Our objective is to report_highlights main areas of activities in billing systems of the telephony, water, power and gas services industries and where applicable, types of changes taking place in view of deregulation, by volume, types and dollar value.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY

The study was undertaken to measure the relative growth prospects and cross-influences that utility services, the Internet, deregulation and automation of billing systems have on each other and the es they support. While some reports currently available focus on certain areas of the industry, we believe this study includes comprehensive coverage of the major sectors of the billing industry in the U.S. Additionally, it presents an overview of high-growth areas of the billing, monitoring and metering industries as related to the telephony, power, gas and water services industries.

Researchers were made aware of the conflicting and contradictory information currently being generated in the monitoring, billing and metering industries about projected industry growth. Some industry experts have projected very high growth rates for all areas of the billing industry. Our goal for this study was to evaluate "real" growth potential for the billing services/applications segments of the industry and arrive at realistic projections.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY AND FOR WHOM

This study is based on detailed information gleaned from interviews with developers and users of billing systems, consultants and other industry experts. Additionally, BCC analyzed a variety of published information from the government, trade press, trade associations, research organizations and other sources. More than 75 vendors of billing systems for telephony, power, water and gas services were interviewed for detailed information on their activities, and the data generated were carefully analyzed. Information gathered from various sources was matched to produce an "actual deployment vs. projected use" scenario. Furthermore, a consensus was developed to eliminate the most vexing problem facing the industry, i.e., whether the automated billing industry is focused on a select few large vendors or available to all. A median-cost crossover ratio was developed to arrive at a reasonable deployment scenario.

SCOPE AND FORMAT

This study covers the major billing and support systems used in the telephony, power, water and gas industries. The analyses focus on applications markets as well as select products and systems used in billing systems in the utility and telecommunications industries. Each segment is analyzed, focusing on the current state of the technology, deployment, and major trends that influence the sales of major components and services of the billing services industry. A brief overview of technology and developments is presented where appropriate.

METHODOLOGY

BCC presents an analysis by each major technology/product and systems segment, focusing on billing and services for telecommunications and utility and applications components. The projections for each segment and group evaluate the current and per-year growth during the next 5 years. Where applicable, growth volume is presented in dollars and units. Each projection was based on current industry statistics, opinions from industry experts, and analysis available from several reliable sources. Figures have been rounded where appropriate.

INFORMATION SOURCES

BCC surveyed more than 100 sources to obtain data for this study. These included developers of billing systems for telecommunications, power, water and gas services as well as outsource services, users, consultants and other experts. Major industry publications, reports from the Department of Commerce, the Federal Communications Commission, several associations connected with the billing industry, universities and financial publications also were consulted.

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