Awards Update: Voters Back Nokia Siemens, ECI
And with the judges set to take the levels of reader support into consideration when they make their final deliberations over a bottle of Jackie D and some spicy nachos on Friday evening, the readers' votes could prove decisive.
This year Light Reading decided to solicit the opinions of our readers on all eight categories by launching a special Reader Survey that allows people to vote for the shortlisted candidates they think should win. If you haven't yet voted, you can still do so by clicking on this link.
So how are the votes shaping up?
Surge for Nokia Siemens
Well, earlier this week Andy Rubin, senior executive director of mobile platforms at Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), was the early leader in the "Person of the Year" category. (See Android Man Leads 'Person of Year' Voting.)
Since then, though, things have changed dramatically. That category is now led (by a considerable margin) by Simon Beresford-Wylie, the CEO at Nokia Siemens, with Rubin in second place and Reliance Communications Ltd. chairman Anil D. Ambani in third.
Nokia Siemens has also attracted significant support in the "Best Deal Maker" and "Best Marketing" categories, while parent company Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) leads the way in the "Best Investment Potential" categories. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is also showing well in the latter two categories, while Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has also attracted significant support for its Televisionary marketing campaign.
The shortlisted companies in the "Top IPO/M&A Candidate" category have all attracted decent support, though BroadSoft Inc. has eased ahead of the pack.
And there's currently a two-way tussle in the "Best New Startup" section, where FastSoft Inc. and Menara Networks are neck-and-neck with about 30 percent of the votes each.
The "Best New Service" appears to be the hardest category for our readers to call -- of the seven shortlisted services, six have received significant backing, with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) just edging ahead of its rivals with its Telepresence Solution.
ECI roars ahead
There is a clear leader, however, in the "Best New Product" category, where ECI's 9700 Carrier Ethernet Switch Router (CESR) has attracted nearly 40 percent of the votes, leaving Redback Networks Inc. and its SM 480 Smart Ethernet switch some way behind in second place with 18 percent.
Expect a lot more changes before Friday's close (at noon Eastern), though, as voters flock to their favorites.
The winners of this year's Leading Lights awards will be announced before an audience of service providers, analysts, and members of the technology and business press at a gala dinner on Monday, Oct. 20, at the Japonais Restaurant in New York City following the first day of the Ethernet Expo 2008 event.
What could be more appealing than a giant cocktail, a plate of sushi, and a Leading Lights gong? (Answers on the message boards please...)
— The Staff, Light Reading
Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet Expo 2008, a conference and exposition examining the latest trends in the carrier Ethernet market. To be staged in New York, October 20-22, the conference will also host Light Reading's third annual Ethernet Service Provider of the Year Awards for North America. Admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.