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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JonB_Infinera 3/27/2020 | 10:25:09 AM
Good luck Ray! Hi Ray,

Good luck with your next endeavour! I think we first met when you and Peter H were touring the halls of CeBIT back in 2005 or so, very different times from today in many ways.


Carol Wilson 3/27/2020 | 10:30:48 AM
Best of luck, Ray It is impossible for me to imagine Light Reading with Ray Le Maistre but, as you say, it will go on.

As bosses go, you were the best: Unfailingly supportive personally yet also challenging us to do our best work. And, on more than one occasion, serving as the firewall between us worker bees and the higher-ups.

You set a high standard for the rest of us with your own work. And you always picked up the check.

All the best going forward, I hope the next chapter is a good one.
Sterling Perrin 3/27/2020 | 10:38:08 AM
Ending of an Era COVID-19, Tom Brady moving to Tampa Bay, and now this...these are strange times indeed.

Though I did know this one was coming, I'd really hoped I'd see you at both MWC and again at OFC and say good bye properly and thank you. Your intelligence, hard work ethic, and, humor are the embodiment of what Light Reading is about, to me. You've always balanced them seemlingly without effort (though i know that's not the case). Best in all your future endeavors and know that you will be greatly missed by many!!

And my favorite LR headline of all time, though I can't find it on LR, remains "Michel Combes is Heir."


Duh! 3/27/2020 | 11:14:07 AM
Best wishes Ray,

A lot has changed in the past 18 years, some for the better, some for the worse. I mean, who'd have thought 800 Gig transport and Gigabit consumer broadband? Or that some once-great vendors would cease to be.  Light Reading is no longer the cheeky industry gossip site that it once was, but remains my daily goto (and sometime opportunity to pontificate) for telecom news and views.

Best wishes in your next endeavor!


Dan Grossman
houmanm 3/27/2020 | 2:42:28 PM
Thanks Ray & only the best... Thanks for all you've done bringing the best of telecom world to all of us.Can't wait to see what you do next. But first, enjoy the Irishman..

Whatever it is, we know it'll be great (and that it wont be coffee).
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!
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!! 
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?
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.
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.

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