Time to Enter the 2018 Leading Lights Awards

Ray Le Maistre

It's that time of the year again! No sooner have the world's top politicians and tax avoiders emptied the Davos bars of their finest vintages than the Leading Lights, Light Reading's prestigious annual awards program, is once again open for business.

We've girded our collective loins and we're more ready than ever to accept this year's deluge of entries. As ever, this year's line-up has a bunch of thrilling new categories for you to enter.

Now in its 14th year, the awards celebrate the innovation, hard work and business success of the communications industry's leading companies, teams and individuals.

And in recognition of what's hot in the communications networking and services industry right now, we've added several new entry options for the 2018 program.

The new categories this year are:

  • Most Innovative SD-WAN Service: Awarded to the company that has launched the most innovative software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) service for enterprise and/or small or midsized corporate users during the past year.

  • Most Innovative SD-WAN Product Strategy (Vendor): Awarded to the technology vendor that has devised the most innovative software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) product/platform strategy during the past year.

  • Most Innovative Automation Strategy (Network/Data Center Operator): Awarded to the network or data center operator that has devised the most innovative automation strategy during the past year.

  • Most Innovative Edge Computing Strategy: Awarded to the network operator or technology developer that has devised the most innovative edge computing strategy during the past year.

  • Most Innovative 5G Strategy: Awarded to the company that has outlined and clearly communicated an innovative, market-leading 5G networking technology or service development strategy during the past year.

You're pumped, right?

As you'd expect, there are plenty of awards that recognize innovation and advances in key areas of technology and services, including NFV, SDN, security, all manner of 5G-related efforts, IoT, cable, digital transformation, components, test & measurement, video and more.

And for the third year, the program includes three Women in Comms (WiC) awards -- Most Inspiring Woman in Comms, Female Tech Pioneer of the Year and Female-Led Startup to Watch -- that will be presented at the Leading Lights ceremony in May.

But that's not all. As ever, we're seeking nominations for the Light Reading Hall of Fame, which recognizes those individuals, both the famous and the infamous, who have made a notable contribution to the global communications sector. Among those inducted in previous years are Steve Jobs, Bob Metcalfe, John Chambers, Brian Roberts, Kris Rinne, Martin Cooper, John Donovan, Mukesh Ambani, Irwin Jacobs, Larissa Herda, James Crowe, Niklas Zennström, Edward Snowden, Reed Hastings, Hedy Lamarr and Bernie Ebbers. Check out last year's Hall of Famers in this video:

You can see the full list of awards categories, details about how to enter, and a link to our FAQ document, at the Leading Lights 2018 home page.

The entry format is different to previous years, and hopefully easier to manage, so please pay close attention to the rules, and be sure to keep within the 300-word limit of the main pitch of your submission -- we'll be counting!

And here's a critical piece of information: Products, services and strategic directives must have been announced on or after March 1, 2017, to qualify for consideration. So if it was launched in 2011 (yes, you know who you are from last year…) or even in February 2017, then it won't qualify. So please be sure to read the guidelines and check the FAQ document too.

The awards are judged by the Light Reading editorial team with help from the Heavy Reading analyst team. The deadline for entries is Friday, March 16, 2018. The shortlists will be announced in early April and the winners announced at an awards dinner in Austin (further details to follow) on Monday, May 14, as a kick-off to the 2018 iteration of the Big Communications Event (BCE)(http://www.bigcommunicationsevent.com).

To see who picked up the awards in 2017 and then had a few glasses of beer too many at the awards party in Austin, see:

  • Leading Lights 2017: The Winners
  • Congratulations to WiC's Newest Leading Lights
  • Leading Lights 2017: Winners' Gallery
  • Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics

    So don't delay! There's even a discounted entry fee for those who can get their submissions in by Friday, February 23. But the most important thing to do is enter because… you've got to be in it to win it!

    — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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