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Leading Lights 2017: The Finalists

Ray Le Maistre
4/10/2017
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I'm pleased and proud to announce this year's shortlists for the annual Leading Lights Awards, which are testament to the innovation, business acumen and diversity the communications industry has at its disposal.

As ever, we had hundreds of entries from an increasingly broad range of companies and, as has been the case during the past few years, the standard of the submissions was very high, making the judging process and creation of shortlists a very tough task.

But we got there and the full set of shortlists can be accessed below.

The winners, and the identities of this year's Light Reading Hall of Fame inductees, will be announced at the Leading Lights awards dinner, which will be held during the evening of Monday, May 15, at the Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas, the evening before the doors open to the Big Communications Event.

Space at the awards dinner is limited, so don't delay in booking your seat or table: All the details and contacts you need can be found right here.

The 'fun' part of the Leading Lights awards dinner often has a local flavor... Light Reading's CEO and founder Steve Saunders whips out his pistol at the 2016 awards ceremony in Austin, Texas.
The 'fun' part of the Leading Lights awards dinner often has a local flavor... Light Reading's CEO and founder Steve Saunders whips out his pistol at the 2016 awards ceremony in Austin, Texas.

So, who's in the running to pick up an award this year? Below are the categories for this year's awards. Click on the name of the category to see the list of finalists. In the coming weeks the Light Reading team will write about the finalists and provide some insight into the shortlisted submissions.

Most Innovative New Cable Product or Service
Awarded to the company that has developed a potentially market-leading product, application or strategy that has enabled the launch, deployment or creation of innovative, profitable cable services during the past year.

Most Innovative Video/Multimedia Product or Service
Awarded to the company that has developed a potentially market-leading product, application or strategy that has enabled the launch, deployment or creation of innovative, profitable video/TV/audio/multimedia services during the past year.

Most Innovative Mobile/Wireless Product or Service
Awarded to the company that has developed a potentially market-leading product, application or strategy that has enabled the launch, deployment or creation of innovative, profitable mobile/wireless services (4G/pre-5G/WiFi/unlicensed) during the past year.

Most Innovative Telecoms Product or Service (Fixed/Carrier Ethernet/Optical)
Awarded to the company that has developed a potentially market-leading product, application or strategy that has enabled the launch, deployment or creation of innovative, profitable fixed-line residential, business or wholesale voice or data services.

Most Innovative Enterprise Service/SMB Service
Awarded to the communications service provider (cable, fixed, mobile) that has launched the most innovative business service for enterprise and/or small or medium-sized corporate users during the past year.

Most Innovative Cloud Service
Awarded to the communications or IT service provider that has launched the most innovative cloud service (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) for its customers during the past year.

Most Innovative NFV Deployment Strategy (Network/Data Center Operator)
Awarded to the network or data center operator that has devised the most innovative network functions virtualization (NFV) strategy during the past year.

Most Innovative NFV Product Strategy (Vendor)
Awarded to the technology vendor that has devised the most innovative network functions virtualization (NFV) product strategy during the past year.

Most Innovative SDN/SD-WAN Deployment Strategy (Network/Data Center Operator)
Awarded to the network or data center operator that has devised the most innovative software-defined networking (SDN) strategy, including software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), during the past year.

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

Most Innovative Security Strategy
Awarded to the communications service provider, systems integrator or technology developer that has unveiled the most innovative security strategy during the past year.

Most Innovative Gigabit/Ultra-Broadband Service
Awarded to the communications service provider that has launched the most innovative Gigabit/Ultra-Broadband (UBB) service offering during the past year.

Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy (Service Provider)
Awarded to the communications service provider that has unveiled the most innovative Internet of Things/Machine to Machine (IoT/M2M) strategy during the past year.

Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy (Vendor)
Awarded to the vendor that has unveiled the most innovative Internet of Things/Machine to Machine (IoT/M2M) strategy during the past year.

Most Innovative 5G Technology Strategy (Vendor) *NEW*
Awarded to the company that has outlined and clearly communicated an innovative, market-leading 5G networking technology development strategy during the past year.

Outstanding Transformation Strategy (Service Provider)
Awarded to the communications service provider that has devised and implemented a transformation strategy of any kind (business, technical, cultural) that will improve its business

Outstanding Components Vendor
Awarded to the components vendor that stands out from its competitors, innovates constantly, helps set the industry trends, makes investors proud, and makes employees happy.

Outstanding Test & Measurement Vendor
Awarded to the communications networking test and measurement, monitoring or assurance systems vendor that stands out from its competitors, innovates constantly, helps set the industry trends, makes investors proud, and makes employees happy.

Outstanding Digital Enablement Vendor *NEW*
Awarded to the next-generation OSS/BSS/analytics/digital commerce systems vendor that stands out from its competitors, innovates constantly, helps set the industry trends, makes investors proud, and makes employees happy.

Outstanding Communications Technology Vision *NEW*
Awarded to the company with the most innovative, transformative strategic vision for the global communications sector that harnesses next-generation technologies including (but not limited to) artificial intelligence/machine learning, fog networking, robotics, drones, virtual or augmented reality and any other developments that will shape a 5G world.

Company of the Year (Private)
Awarded to the privately held firm that stands out from its competitors, innovates constantly, makes investors proud, and makes employees happy.

Company of the Year (Public)
Awarded to the publicly listed firm that stands out from its competitors, innovates constantly, makes investors proud, and makes employees happy.

Best Deal Maker
Awarded to the company that has consistently demonstrated good timing, judgment, and execution in high-profile acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures, and other multi-company financial arrangements.

The team from ADVA pic up the Company of the Year (Public) award at the 2016 dinner.
The team from ADVA pic up the Company of the Year (Public) award at the 2016 dinner.

Women in Comms awards
Also, for the second year, we had dedicated Women in Comms (WiC) categories this year:

  • Most Inspiring Woman in Comms
  • Hedy Lamarr Award for Female Tech Pioneer of the Year

    To see who has been shortlisted for those awards, check out WiC Leading Lights: Meet the 2017 Finalists at the Women in Comms site.

    Light Reading Hall of Fame
    The shortlist for this year's Light Reading Hall of Fame, which seeks to recognize several individuals -- the famous and infamous -- for their remarkable contributions to the sector, will be published soon: Look out for the special poll on Light Reading.

    The Hall of Fame inductees will be named at the Leading Lights Awards dinner.

    — Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, International Group Editor, Light Reading

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