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Light Reading's Top Stories of 2015

Ray Le Maistre

What a humdinger of a year that was! Massive M&A deals, major transformation and virtualization developments, the further blurring of lines between IT and telecom and a standout year for our feline coverage, especially in our Cats With Phones gallery (now rechristened Animals With Phones as we branch out beyond the world of kittens...)

But which Light Reading articles attracted the most page views? As you might imagine, NFV featured strongly. Here's a rundown of the top ten stories of the year (not including the slideshow features that generate massive numbers of page views):

1. Nokia to Claim #2 Carrier Vendor Ranking
Part of the fallout from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s planned acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) was its claim that the move will make it the second largest provider of networking hardware, software and services to communications service providers globally, still trailing Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) but ahead of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (See Nokia to Claim #2 Carrier Vendor Ranking and Nokia + AlcaLu: What the Analysts Say.)

By the time the deal is completed (expected early in 2016) that ranking might be questionable but there's no denying that the combination of two major vendors is going to create a giant force in the industry. And that leads neatly onto…

2. Cisco + Ericsson: From Soup to Nuts
When Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Ericsson announced that they were forming a special, strategic partnership (but not getting married) it looked very much like a reaction to competitive pressures, including those from the NokAlu combination.

This blog pulled together the many articles published by Light Reading on the emerging beast that quickly became known as "Ciscosson" in industry circles. (See Cisco + Ericsson: From Soup to Nuts.)

3. Validating Cisco's Service Provider Virtualization & Cloud Portfolio
Both Cisco and Ericsson are bringing various virtualization capabilities to their new partnership and, as this independent test report from March showed, Cisco has been making significant progress with its SDN, NFV and cloud management products and services. (See Validating Cisco's Service Provider Virtualization & Cloud Portfolio.)

4. IBM Sows Seed for New Telco Unit, Plans NFV/SDN Push
The rise of the IT giants in the communications service provider world has been a running theme during the past year or so, particularly in regards to New IP matters and IoT capabilities. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is keen to make more of its potential and make a name for itself as a key transformation partner to network operators. (See IBM Sows Seed for New Telco Unit, Plans NFV/SDN Push.)

5. AlcaLu Execs Lose Out as Nokia Unveils New Top Team
Further ramifications of the NokAlu deal, with Nokia deciding to dominate the top management team seats once the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent is complete. That wasn't a surprise but the big questions was -- who gets to stay from the AlcaLu team? (See AlcaLu Execs Lose Out as Nokia Unveils New Top Team.)

Light Reading was able to follow this story up with the revelation that Marcus Weldon will get to hold on to his roles as CTO and head of Bell Labs once the two companies become one. (See AlcaLu's Weldon Lands Nokia CTO Role.)

6. Cisco Scores 'Shocking' 100G Metro Deal at Verizon
Despite rumors that Cisco was set to join Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) as a 100G metro supplier to Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), confirmation of the selection still raised a few eyebrows. It also caused a few frowns at the vendors that missed out. (See Cisco Scores 'Shocking' 100G Metro Deal at Verizon.)

7. New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)'s CTO Aamir Hussain attracted a lot of attention as he kick-started the move to transform the operator "from a telephone company to IT-based services company." (See New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul.)

8. AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Here's a transformation of another kind at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) -- this time with voice services at the heart of the shift away from the legacy world. (See AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015.)

9. EXCLUSIVE! NFV Interop Evaluation Results
This was only published in December but makes the top ten because it's so darned important: This is the first set of independent NFV interoperability test results made available to everyone in the industry and it not only showed which systems work with others but revealed invaluable insights into the performance of vital underlying systems such as OpenStack. (See EXCLUSIVE! NFV Interop Evaluation Results.)

Did someone mention OpenStack?

10. BT Threatens to Ditch Openstack
The threat from BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) was real and highlighted some major concerns about how "carrier-grade" OpenStack is currently. (See BT Threatens to Ditch OpenStack.)

And just outside the top ten? This one...

M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
The swirling speculation around Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) left us almost dizzy and we don't expect it to ease off in 2016, even now that Ericsson is no longer considered a potential suitor. (See M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper.)

So those were the stories that got the most "hits" during the past year. Which one left the biggest impression? Share your views on the message boards below.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
1/11/2016 | 6:21:54 PM
No mention of the Dell Mega-deal?
I suppose Dell's acquisition of EMC hasn't closed yet, but that story should probably be up there as one of the big news items of 2015.
Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
1/2/2016 | 6:19:46 PM
I think Mitch's story on the HPE issues at Telefonica would be in here if we hadn't broken it over the hols... Ray, what are your top 5 LR scoop picks from '15?
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