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Power line communication systems market driven by smart grid technologies

Industry Sector



3 January 2013


Mike King

Type of News


The power line communication (PLC) systems market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.3% over the next five years, rising from a valuation of $2.94 billion in 2013, to hit a market value of $7.10 billion by 2018.

PLC carries data on a conductor that is also used simultaneously for AC electric power transmission or electric power distribution to consumers. A wide range of power line communication technologies are needed for different applications, ranging from home automation to Internet access.

Electrical power is transmitted over long distances using high voltage transmission lines, distributed over medium voltages, and used inside buildings at lower voltages. Most PLC technologies limit themselves to one set of wires (such as premises wiring within a single building), but some can cross between two levels.

PLC is being used in a host of emerging and existing applications, including smart grid, home automation, vehicle automation, broadband over power line, and M2M communications.

The PLC market is broadly classified into two types of available technologies: Narrowband PLC and Broadband PLC.

Narrowband PLC typically allows low data transfer rates and works at lower frequencies and has a longer range. Broadband PLC allows high speed data transfer, works at higher frequency ranges, and has low range.

Narrowband PLC has garnered a lot of attention off late due to its use in applications pertaining to the smart grid. Some of its major applications include Automated Meter Reading (AMR), street light control, electric-vehicle charging, etc. Broadband PLC has found its use as a "last mile" technology in applications like Internet access and home networking and control.

One of the major uses of PLC is in smart grid, where it is used in automatic meter reading (AMR) and automatic meter management (AMM), building automation, security, electric vehicle charging, in micro-inverters for alternative sources of energy, temperature and lighting. By the end of 2012, the application of PLC in smart grid is expected to hold approximately 75% of the market.

For more information on the power line communication systems market, see the latest research: Power Line Communication Systems Market

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