Leading Lights 2019: The Winners

Ray Le Maistre
News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief
5/6/2019



DENVER, Colo. -- The 2019 Leading Lights Awards winners have been announced at a gala dinner attended by hundreds of communications industry executives at the Grand Hyatt Denver Hotel's Pinnacle Club here in the Mile High City. The awards were handed out on the eve of the Big 5G Event, which is being held at the Colorado Convention Center May 7-8.

The winners were chosen following the judging of hundreds of submissions in 22 categories, which this year included recognition for those companies making progress in 5G, AI/Analytics, edge computing, blockchain, SD-WAN, Telco Cloud and many more. The finalists were announced in April. (See Leading Lights 2019: The Finalists.)

The latest additions to Light Reading's Hall of Fame were also announced at the dinner. You can find out who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year by watching our video, Light Reading Hall of Fame 2019.

There are a lot of winners to announce in this year's Leading Lights: Check out the first tranche of winners below and the remainder on the following page.


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.

Winner: Broadpeak
Broadpeak wins for its nanoCDN Multicast ABR Low Latency & Device Synch (catchy name!), which tackles two of the biggest challenges facing OTT video latency and multi-screen delivery synchronization.


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.

Winner: Parallel Wireless
Parallel Wireless wins for its Unified 2G/3G/4G/5G software, which embraces one of the key trends in mobile networking by helping to virtualize, automate and optimize cellular networks from 2G to 5G.


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

Winner: Calix
Calix wins for its AXOS Intelligent Access Edge, a new addition to its AXOS platform for fixed broadband network operators that, with software functionality, eliminates the need for standalone devices for routing, subscriber management and aggregation.


Most Innovative AI/Analytics Strategy
Awarded to the company that has devised the most innovative strategy built around the development or use of AI/analytics capabilities during the past year.

Winner: Accedian
Accedian wins for its SkyLIGHT DataHUB IQ system, a cloud-native analytics platform that uses machine learning techniques to match key network and application performance indicators against other data sources and reveal anomalies.


Most Innovative Blockchain for Telecoms Strategy
Awarded to the company that has devised the most innovative blockchain-based strategy in the telecoms market during the past year.

Winner: Synchronoss Technologies
Synchronoss Technologies wins for its collaboration with SoftBank and TBCASoft on the development of a blockchain-enabled, secure cross-carrier payments service.


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.

Winner: Vonage
Vonage wins for Vonage Business Cloud, its cloud-native unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) that takes advantage of cloud computing and machine learning to deliver a modern service for enterprise customers.


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.

Winner: Teridion
Teridion wins for Teridion for Enterprise, a cloud WAN service built around Teridion Curated Routing, a deep learning-based approach to virtualized routing that addresses performance issues in "middle mile" connections.


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.

Winner: VMware
VMware wins for VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud Network Edge, which is adding important functionality, such as compute, analytics and security, to network edge SD-WAN assets.

Next page: More winners



Most Innovative Telco Cloud Strategy (Network/Data Center Operator)
Awarded to the network or data center operator that has devised the most innovative telco cloud (virtualization, SDN/NFV) strategy during the past year.

Winner: Rakuten Mobile
Rakuten Mobile wins for its Telco Cloud Platform, a truly next-generation, software-defined, automated and distributed telco architecture developed in partnership with Cisco.


Most Innovative Telco Cloud Product Strategy (Vendor)
Awarded to the technology vendor that has devised the most innovative telco cloud (virtualization, SDN/NFV) product strategy during the past year.

Winner: Netcracker Technology
Netcracker Technology wins for Netcracker Business Cloud, its telco cloud-as-a-service managed service that enables operators to expedite their VNF-based enterprise service strategies.


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.

Winner: Rakuten Mobile
Rakuten Mobile wins for the mobile network platform, developed and deployed with help from Cisco, that has in-built automated processes from the radio access to the core.


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.

Winner: SK Telecom
SK Telecom wins for its MEC Tech. & Open Platform Strategy based on "small-scale data centers" that can help reduce latency on mobile networks by up to 60%.


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.

Winner: CUJO AI
CUJO AI wins for its machine learning-based approach to securing smart home and IoT deployments that has secured major cable operator deals.


Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy
Awarded to the communications service provider, systems integrator or technology developer that has unveiled the most innovative Internet of Things/Machine to Machine (IoT/M2M) strategy during the past year.

Winner: Sprint
Sprint wins for its Curiosity IoT platform, deployed in partnership with Ericsson, that is built around a dedicated core network.


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.

Winner: Pivotal Commware
Pivotal Commware wins for its Echo 5G system, which enables fixed wireless 5G millimeter wave signals to pass through modern low-energy glass windows, something that has been a major challenge for the industry.


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.

Winner: Amdocs
Amdocs wins for its strategy that tackles, with help from the broader industry ecosystem, the unique business and operational challenges that 5G service providers will face.


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.

Winner: Source Photonics
Source Photonics wins for its development of optical components that are supporting the "anyhaul" transport strategies of system vendors and network operators and its ongoing business success.


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.

Winner: Spirent
Spirent wins for its focused and successful 5G product development strategy, its ongoing support for 5G-related industry initiatives around the world and its financial success.


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.

Winner: LotusFlare
LotusFlare wins for the development of, and early successes with, its Digital Network Operator (DNO) suite, which offers a "Telco in an App" proposition for service providers.


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.

Winner: Versa Networks
Versa Networks wins for its ongoing success with customers and partners in the SD-WAN market and its ongoing efforts to develop cloud-native applications.


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.

Winner: Ciena
Ciena has had an outstanding year in terms of product development, market strategy and financial performance.


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.

Winner: Lumentum
Lumentum wins for an M&A strategy that was exemplified by its strategic and timely $1.8 billion acquisition of fellow optical components firm Oclaro.

Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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