Light Reading
5:00 AM As the countdown to the Leading Lights awards continues, it's time to look at our nine finalists for the private company of the year

2012 Leading Lights Finalists: Company of the Year (Private)

Michelle Donegan
Wireless Bits
Michelle Donegan
11/1/2012
50%
50%

5:00 AM -- As the Leading Lights Awards ceremony approaches, it's time to review the finalists for Company of the Year (Private).

Admitedly, it wasn't easy to narrow down this shortlist because there were many good candidates. But our finalists of innovative, growing private firms are some of the companies challenging established vendors, and this list highlights some key industry trends, such as software-defined networking (SDN), the need for analytics, service assurance, advanced advertising and mobile payments.

You can see the full list of Leading Lights awards finalists here (free registration required).

The Leading Lights Awards and Light Reading's Hall of Fame winners will be revealed Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.

Now, here's why these nine private companies, in no particular order, made the cut.

Square Inc.
The company created by Twitter Inc. co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2009, Square Inc. , is one of the sexiest tech startups around, offering a new way for people -- and particularly small businesses -- to buy and sell goods. Its credit card reader fits into the earphone jack of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) or Android smartphones and tablets, making it possible for anyone, anywhere to accept credit card payments. That simplicity is what makes the mobile payment gadget successful, and is what has spurred the company's rapid growth. When Square announced Series D funding in September -- which was reported to be around $200 million -- the company claimed that it had about 400 employees and processed $8 billion in payments on an annualized basis. But a year earlier it had just 150 employees and processed $1 billion in payments on an annualized basis.

And Square is expanding to work with bigger businesses and go into new markets as well. The first and most significant move in this direction is a partnership with Starbucks, through which the coffee retailer will invest $25 million in the company and use Square to process card payments across its 7,000 shops in the U.S. Square has also taken its card reader to Canada, its first market entry outside the U.S.

But here's a question to ponder: Would Square be such a hit today if it was called Squirrel, as originally planned?



ASSIA Inc.
The DSL line management specialist founded by Light Reading Hall of Famer John Cioffi in 2003 is on a roll, and shows that there is still room for innovation to improve DSL services and reduce service providers operating costs.

As one measure of how widely ASSIA Inc. 's software is now deployed, service providers use it to manage and optimize about 60 million DSL lines worldwide. The company recently landed its first customer in China -- China Telecom Jiangsu -- for its DSL Expresse product; and it also added new tools for monitoring and diagnosing residential Wi-Fi network performance. The key to ASSIA's DSL management is the company's Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) technology.



ConteXtream
This is one of the hottest software-defined networking (SDN) startups. ConteXtream 's software, called Grid, creates a fabric that connects any network element to any other. With investments from carrier heavyweights Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the startup is now looking to apply SDN to wireless networks with the introduction of a new version of its Grid software that enables Evolved Packet Core (EPC) virtualization.



BlackArrow Inc.
As consumers watch less traditional TV and more time-shifted, video-on-demand content on various devices, advertisers need a way to reach them and BlackArrow Inc. 's advanced advertising system does just that. The system enables ads to be managed and delivered to any connected device, whether it's a TV, smartphone, tablet or game console. And the company has attracted some big service providers: Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) have each recently rolled out the BlackArrow advanced advertising system.



Page 2: More candidates

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Wireless Bits
Undercuts Huawei and ZTE in China Mobile 4G tender
CTO says vendor is seeking insight and inspiration from developer competitions
After a few months away, Sarah Reedy is back on the Light Reading team
Four new focus areas for NGMN Alliance highlight the key challenges facing mobile network operators in 2013
9:00 AM Smartphones have bigger mobile data appetites than tablets in Europe
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Paul Bunyan's Giant Gigabit Plans

12|22|14   |   03:26   |   (0) comments


Gary Johnson, the CEO and GM of Minnesota rural operator Paul Bunyan Communications, discusses the company's 5,000-square-mile gigabit network rollout.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive