Poor uptake of smart metering in India is attributed to low demand and lack of technology
BANGALORE, INDIA: As India is still new to the smart metering technology there is a need to build an ecosystem. Understanding that requirement is Telit Wireless Solutions India, which aims to capture 40 per cent market share in the next three to five years, Aashish Gulati, country manager, Telit Wireless Solutions India, in an interview with Deepa Damodaran of CIOL, says that what is utmost essential is to ensure standardization in the industry. Excerpts:
[image_library_tag 185/13185, align="left" title="Aashish Gulati, country manager, Telit Wireless Solutions India" height="190" alt="Aashish Gulati, country manager, Telit Wireless Solutions India" hspace="7" width="150" vspace="7" border="1" ,default]CIOL: How is the M2M industry doing in India and how do you see the future of this market?
Aashish Gulati: M2M market has been picking up. However, it needs some more drive. The driving factors for this segment globally have been smart metering, which has been around for more than a decade now.
On one hand, we have countries like Italy, which has the highest number of smart metering installations, and on the other we have India, where utilities have started to do some pilot runs on smart metering only recently. The whole ecosystem has to be built.
A lot of government initiatives are required at this stage. We will be setting up a target for the next three-five years because power requirements are going to go up by many folds in the coming years. We have started to see some thrust being given to this industry by both government and utility market now.
CIOL: What are the reasons for low uptake of smart metering in India - is it because of low demand or lack of technology?
Aashish Gulati: It is both. It is more about building the whole ecosystem that would cater to it. First, we have to come up with a standardization in the industry. Till date, every utility company was working on its own standards in India, whereas technologies like smart metering should have a standard, common platform.
This is happening now and some decisions are being taken towards standardizing the industry.
Now, in terms of technology for smart metering, debates are on whether it will be in 2.4 GHz or whether it can go up to 10 sub GHz.
These are some of the major challenges.
CIOL: Telit has been operating in the country for the past one year. How much have you grown and how many customers have you acquired so far?
Aashish Gulati: These are difficult questions to answer because there is a long process involved before we start seeing the results in this kind of business. First, customers need to get entrusted to our products, that is when they will start a design cycle of six-eight months.
After this, they have to do tests, field tests, trials and only after do they get into mass production. So the whole cycle takes about a year, depending upon the applications.
In the last one year we have one customer who has gone into production. We have another customer who has completed the designs and is in the testing phase and is nearing production in a couple of months. We also have a few who are half way through the design.
It is only after we build the ecosystem, and proper systems are in place in terms of standardization, will we grow. We have been making efforts in this direction in the last one year. From this year onwards we will start realizing some numbers.
CIOL: How much growth do you foresee for the next couple of years?
Aashish Gulati: We will capture 40 per cent market share in the next three to five years. As per our estimates, India M2M industry is about 1 million units and we foresee it to grow 10 times by 2016-17.