First, a few facts. It's staged in Hannover, it runs from March 13 to March 20 (from Wednesday to Wednesday including a weekend) and it's mind-bogglingly big.
Last year, the show clocked 8,106 exhibitors and about 850,000 visitors. In other words, it's seven times as big as Telecom 99, the last monster telecom show staged in Geneva by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). However, CeBIT covers a lot more than telecom. In fact, that's one of its problems: There's hall after hall of stuff like game software, PCs, monster printing machines, banking equipment, et cetera.
The mammoth size of the exhibition also creates another problem: It's far too big for Hannover. All the hotels are booked for years in advance. All the flights are full. All the roads around the show are jammed. No wonder the Germans call CeBIT a "Messe."
Of course, the size of CeBIT also has its attractions. It encourages a lot of exhibitors to announce new developments at the show. And CeBIT's a great place for meeting people, because virtually everybody goes there.
The best way to make the most of these opportunities, while minimizing the impact of over-stretched infrastructure, is to plan ahead. Figure out what's going on and whom you want to see before you set off.
That's why we've launched this special CeBIT show site on Light Reading. In the runup to the exhibition, we'll be publishing previews of the optical networking products being launched at CeBIT, as well as highlighting other events worth visiting. We'll also be covering news from the show itself, as it breaks.
Our goal goes beyond helping das Volk make the most of their visit to CeBIT. If you can't get to CeBIT (or you don't want to experience the world's biggest technology trade show in person) our site will let you see what you're missing: new products, traffic jams, technology showcases, strange goings-on, and anything else that arises.
As noted, the first thing to realize about CeBIT is that most of the halls aren't relevant to optical networking. The telecom and networking exhibits are in Halls 11 through 16 and Halls 25 through 27, on the southwest side of the site (see the map on the CeBIT website).
Unfortunately, there are still something like 1,600 exhibitors in these halls, so further narrowing down is necessary.
The CeBIT Website has some tools for sorting exhibitors into different categories, although some are better than others. Forget about sorting by product category, for instance; the descriptions appear to be way out of date. Routers, for example, are subdivided into a jumble of strange titles such as "ATM routers" and "Ethernet routers," but there's no listing for IP routers -- and Cisco isn't listed as a router vendor.
The best way forward is to sort by hall (this page may take a few moments to load because there are so many exhibitors). This makes it possible to pinpoint the halls where most of the leading optical networking vendors are present and to get a feeling for where different types of players might hang out.
Hall 12, for instance, includes a lot of telecom operators and a sprinkling of equipment vendors. Exhibitors include:
- KPNQwest NV (Nasdaq/Amsterdam: KQIP) B46
- LightPointe Communications Inc. B79
- Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) A37
- Telia AB B30
- WorldCom Inc. (Nasdaq: WCOM) A06
Hall 13 exhibitors include:
- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) C53
- Anritsu Corp. C85
- Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7) C38
- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) C58, C68, D43
- Computer Network Technology Corp. (CNT) (Nasdaq: CMNT) A58
- CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN) E58
- Iamba Technologies Inc. A20
- Pandatel AG (Frankfurt: PDE) A58
- Sagem D10
Hall 14 exhibitors include:
- BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (London: BVC) D13
Hall 15 exhibitors include:
Hall 16 exhibitors include:
- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) C18
- Controlware GmbH
- Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) C06
- Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) B34
- Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) B02/2
- Optical Access Inc. (Nasdaq: OPXS) B14
- Riverstone Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RSTN) B07
- Spirent PLC (NYSE: SPM; London: SPT) B02/1
- Telindus Group NV (Euronext: Tel.BR) C33
Hall 27 exhibitors include:
- ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT) F43
- ADVA AG Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV)G36
- Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) B32
- Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) C12
- ECI Telecom Ltd. (Nasdaq/NM: ECIL) D15
- Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY) D48
- Lightscape Networks D15
- Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) B16
- Lumentis AB F38
- NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY) D38
- Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) D05 and C02/3
- ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS) D01
- RAD Data Communications Ltd. G31
- Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) C32
- Sorrento Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: FIBR) D27
— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com For more information on CeBIT, please visit: www.lightreading.com/cebit