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The global smart electric meter market will reach $10.7 billion with an installed base of just under 1 billion smart meters by 2020, according to a new report by Zpryme.

The research firm reports that as smart grid investments heat up in areas such as distribution automation, analytics and meter data management, the global smart meter market still offers a significant revenue opportunity for smart meter vendors.

Nevertheless, Zpryme says that annual growth will be below 3% between 2012 and 2020.

According to Zpryme, the current market leaders will increasingly face strong competition from emerging players in Europe and Asia, which will likely drive down the per-unit cost for smart meters in the long run.

In 2012, North America accounted for 35% of the global market value, while Europe and Asia-Pacific accounted for 33% and 21%, respectively, the research firm notes. By 2020, Europe and Asia will hold 46% and 22% of the global smart meter market, respectively.

Zpryme reports that Central and South America and the rest of the world are projected to grow at the fastest rates from 2012 to 2020. Japan and Brazil are projected to grow the fastest.

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