Leading Lights 2018: The Finalists

Ray Le Maistre
4/11/2018
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I'm delighted to announce this year's shortlists for the annual Leading Lights Awards, which, once again, show how this incredibly important industry continues to innovate, push boundaries and deliver solutions to some of the communications networking industry's most pressing challenges.

We received hundreds of entries from an incredibly broad range of companies, which made the judging process incredibly tough, but very rewarding. I have to congratulate those who took the time and to make a submission -- across the board it was an outstanding set of entries.

But, as ever, we've had to narrow the field and identify the finalists in each of our 24 regular Leading Lights categories and the three Women in Comms categories.

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 14, 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.

Last year's Leading Lights trophies before we gave them away...
Last year's Leading Lights trophies before we gave them away...

So, who's made the shortlists 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 Cable/Video 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, video, TV or 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/WiFi/unlicensed) during the past year.

Most Innovative Telecoms Product (Optical/IP/Carrier Ethernet/FTTH)
Awarded to the company that has developed a potentially market-leading optical/IP/Ethernet/FTTH product that, through engineering and technical excellence, enables the deployment of profitable next-generation telecom services.

Most Innovative Gigabit/FTTx Service
Awarded to the communications service provider that has launched the most innovative fiber-to-the-home/building/cabinet service during the past year.

Most Innovative Business Cloud Service
Awarded to the communications service provider that has launched the most innovative business cloud service for enterprise and/or small or midsized corporate users during the past year.

Most Innovative SD-WAN Service
Awarded to the company that has launched the most innovative 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 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 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 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 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
Awarded to the company that, during the past year, has developed a potentially market-leading product that will enable the launch, deployment or creation of 5G services.

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.

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 potential and competitiveness and help its customers transform.

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
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
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.

Bob Burris (right), senior VP of global engineering and operations at GTT Communications, picks up the 2017 Company of the Year (Public) Leading Lights award from Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre.
Bob Burris (right), senior VP of global engineering and operations at GTT Communications, picks up the 2017 Company of the Year (Public) Leading Lights award from Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre.

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

  • Female-Led Startup to Watch
  • Hedy Lamarr Award for Female Tech Pioneer of the Year
  • Most Inspiring Woman in Comms

    The shortlists for those awards can be found on the Women in Comms site. (See Congrats to 2018's WiC Leading Lights Finalists.)

    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, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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