Optical/IP Networks

OFC management: 500 sponsors and exhibitors are planning to attend

The Optical Fibre Conference (OFC) is expecting a big list of exhibitors and sponsors to turn up in San Diego next week.

OFC show management told Light Reading in an email that "more than 500 exhibitors and sponsors are still planning to attend the conference and options are being made available to speakers and presenters impacted by imposed travel restrictions and company policies to pre-record their presentation or participate live via Zoom." The show is scheduled to begin on Sunday, March 8.

Several optical networking vendors and service providers are limiting staff travel to large events because of concerns over the spread of COVID-19, caused by a new member of the coronavirus family that's similar to SARS and MERS.

The show's organizers – the IEEE Communications Society (IEEE ComSoc), IEEE Photonics Society and The Optical Society (OSA) – have said they are taking health and safety precautions so that folks turning up can focus on the program.

"While there have been large event cancellations in Europe and Asia, that has not been suggested or advised by U.S. government and health officials given the extremely low risk. For OFC, it is business as usual," the show's organizers wrote on the OFC site's COVID-19 FAQ.

The conference has more than 30 business sessions and over 130 technical sessions scheduled for the week-long gathering. The exhibits floor will feature hundreds of organizations, too, organizers said.

Light Reading has verified that the following 20 firms have pulled out. We won't update this list, but we do encourage companies to comment in the space below to say whether they're going so others can more easily connect for meetings.

Please send optical networking news and announcements to [email protected]

Table 1: 20 companies pulling out of OFC 2020

Company Status Details
Acacia Communications Withdrawal confirmed. The optical components vendor announced on February 27 it was pulling out "due to growing global concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak."
Ciena Withdrawal confirmed. Announced and reported on February 25.
Cignal AI Withdrawal confirmed. The analyst group emailed clients on March 2 to confirm its OFC withdrawal.
Cisco Withdrawal confirmed. The networking giant said on February 28 that it won't be at OFC or the HIMSS event, which was scheduled for the same week.
Corning Withdrawal confirmed. The optical fiber maker announced its withdrawal from OFC on March 2.
EXFO Withdrawal confirmed. The testing vendor emailed Light Reading on March 2.
Fujitsu Network Communications Withdrawal reported. Multiple analysts have reported that the company is no longer participating.
Huawei Exhibition withdrawal confirmed. The company may have N. American, European and other staff attending technical sessions, but it won't be hosting a booth on the show floor.
Infinera Withdrawal confirmed. The optical networking vendor announced its withdrawal on February 27.
Innolight Withdrawal reported. The components vendor announced its OFC withdrawal on its website.
Inphi Withdrawal confirmed. Multiple analysts have reported that the company is no longer participating.
Intel Withdrawal confirmed. Intel confirmed its withdrawal from OFC in a February 27 email to Light Reading.
Juniper Networks Withdrawal confirmed. The network equipment vendor emailed press and analysts about its cancellation on March 1.
Lumentum Withdrawal confirmed. The optical components vendor announced its decision on February 25.
Mellanox Withdrawal confirmed. Multiple analysts have reported that the company is no longer participating.
Nokia Withdrawal confirmed. The company announced its OFC withdrawal on February 28.
OFS Withdrawal confirmed. The optical fiber maker announced its withdrawal from OFC on February 27.
Verizon Withdrawal reported. Verizon reps told Heavy Reading that they were not sending staff to OFC this year.
VIAVI Withdrawal confirmed. The network test company announced to analysts and press via email on February 26 that it "has chosen to cancel its participation in OFC 2020."
Xilinx Withdrawal confirmed. The components vendor replied to an email from Light Reading on March 2, confirming their withdrawal.
(Source: The companies, Light Reading, Heavy Reading)

Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading

Balet 3/18/2020 | 1:07:32 PM
Re: OFC 2020 The worst OFC in 25 years, I have attended. The OFC Massachussets management is gready and unhelpful. The last show for me.Fire Claudia Maurer!! 
ChiefEng45876 3/3/2020 | 9:49:54 AM
OFC 2020 AT&T


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