Optical/IP Networks

Farewell, Light Reading, and thanks!

When I joined Light Reading in May 2002, the telecoms industry was moribund. The dot-com bubble had burst, early optical wholesale carriers were going to the wall – who recalls the KPN-Qwest blowhards? – and 3G license costs had left mobile operators with little left to invest in their networks. Little was happening. Huawei was a startup.

It would have seemed unlikely at that point that I would work at the same digital publication for the next 18 years, but that's how it worked out and I couldn't be more grateful.

When I handed in my notice in October last year, though, I did not expect to be leaving just as the communications networking and data center sectors were proving themselves as the largely resilient backbone of a global effort to avoid societal collapse: I thought I'd be hosting a leaving party with tales to tell of MWC 2020 and with recent memories of a visit to OFC in San Diego.

So as I pack up my desk, I salute the industry for ably supporting the broader efforts to maintain a digital society in a world increasingly on lockdown. My heart goes out to those in the healthcare sector.

I want to thank my colleagues for making me proud to say I work at Light Reading. I want to say a particular thanks to Light Reading's founders, Peter Heywood and Steve Saunders, who hired me and taught me a great deal about the industry and business. There has rarely been a dull moment in my 18 years here and I've met, worked with and written about so many great people and companies, as well as a few charlatans and dodgy outfits too, of course.

A lot has happened in those 18 years – Nortel, Lucent and Marconi were industry giants when I joined, at which point people were arguing whether it was feasible to get a 2 Mbit/s data connection on a mobile phone. Dial-up modems were still popular. What sticks in my mind? Headline puns. I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I remember this headline.

What's next? I can confirm I am neither retiring (I wish!) nor starting my own coffee truck – I love it but cannot claim to be an even half-decent barista. For the few that might be interested, I'll share my plans on LinkedIn in the coming days. But I've promised myself that I'll watch The Irishman before I think about work again, so that LinkedIn post might be a few days in coming…

I wish my Light Reading Group colleagues – which includes those at Heavy Reading and Telecoms.com – the best of good fortune in these uncertain times. It's a great business, staffed with great people and I know it'll do well through the 5G years, into the 6G era and beyond.

So long folks and hope to see you soon!

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

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DanPittPaloAlto 4/1/2020 | 3:54:42 PM
Re: The end of Light Reading No insult of disparagement intended, Phil (and Mitch and James and Alan and Liz and Roz and Sterling and...). I'm sure it feels different for you, too.

How is life in Informa?
Phil Harvey 3/31/2020 | 3:42:08 PM
Re: The end of Light Reading Re: "With your departure, to me this is the end of Light Reading... "

Oh, okay, cool. I'll get my coat then. 

HRKirksey 3/30/2020 | 4:59:43 PM
Congratulations Ray,


This feels truly like the end of an era in the telecom world. I have always respected your thoroughness and thoughtfullness as an editor and reporter, and it seems hard to imagine LR without you. Additionlly your coffee obsession and general snark have brought many a smile to my face over the years. Best of luck to you -- I can't wait to hear where you end up next, and I hope our paths cross again at some point, preferably at a bar. I am still holding out hope for some form of telecom-themed coffee truck at some point.


Stay safe and sane out there in these crazy times! 


cctvghost 3/30/2020 | 9:36:48 AM
about Irishman paint the house after watching Irishman, good job
mdcohn2018 3/30/2020 | 2:56:09 AM
Goodbye and Farewell Ray,

While nothing shiocks me anymore in our rapidly evolving space, I must admit I was somewat surprised to hear that you were moving on after 20 years at LightReading. Your insights and piercing questions were a hallmark of the publication, and will be missed by all. 

While I will miss your presence at LR, something tells me that we will cross paths again sometime soon.

I will also miss your leadership at the 2020 Vision event (if/when events resume), and especially the coffee :)

Many thanks for your contributions which influenced many, and certainly forced everyone to think critically about the most pervasive issues in the industry.

Best of luck in your future endeavours.

DanPittPaloAlto 3/29/2020 | 2:28:54 PM
The end of Light Reading Ray,

With your departure, to me this is the end of Light Reading. I hope you remembered to turn the lights out when you left. Steve and Carol and the other great folks contributed to the culture that made Light Reading both informative and entertaining but you represented the predominance of that cultural message, not him or anyone else. You always commanded my full attention because I knew that whatever you said or wrote I needed to understand and absorb, and I tried to learn from your style as well as your substance. How many in our industry are all these things and also cool? Only you, Ray.

I'm glad you were able to leave on your own terms and to make your decision in advance of some precipitating crisis. The world last October is not the one we inhabit today.

Wherever you end up next your new colleagues will be fortunate to count you among them. Thank you for your gifts of self to us for all these years.

sbicheno 3/28/2020 | 3:15:10 AM
I knew I'd see you off eventually Only joking. Thanks for being a top colleague, leader and mate. A particular highlight for me was that dive you insisted on getting a drink at in Barcelona last year. I'll look after the grown ups and high-maintenence vendors for you.
tpoulos 3/27/2020 | 4:53:54 PM
Shock, horror! Oh Ray, don’t go too far, please! Who will we turn to for in-depth analysis of cheeses and coffee on offer at all those stands at events?
kdsenthil 3/27/2020 | 4:42:39 PM
All the very Best!!! Enjoyed reading your post for many years and its always short and crisp. Thanks for enlightening and it takes a lot of efforts to put things in perspective. All the best for your future endeavours!! 
James_B_Crawshaw 3/27/2020 | 4:20:01 PM
It's bean a pleasure I would like to espresso my gratitude for having worked with you Ray. You always give things your best shot and stir things up. Stay frothy!
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