Prop-Heads on Parade

Can the bruised and battered service provider sector still innovate? Are there envelopes still to be pushed -- other than fat, brown ones going under the table to the bureaucrats investigating your latest earnings statement? Are we ever going to stop asking rhetorical questions?

Well, the answers are: yes, yes, and yes. Because Unstrung and our sister publication Light Reading have named ten of the most innovative telecom professionals on Light Reading's new site, Service Provider Circle.

The top ten list's purpose is to name and fame the individuals who are making the important technology and business decisions within service provider networks. Light Reading's editors will rank the performance of these innovators over time, based on the performance of the services for which they are responsible and the net worth of the carriers to whom they are responsible.

Many of the names on the inaugural list will be familiar to you if you're a regular Unstrung reader, because they include some real movers and shakers in the world of wireless.

There's boy genius Sky Dayton, who founded EarthLink Inc. before he could even shave [ed. note: bumfluff alert!] and has now hitched his wagon to the wireless LAN cause at pioneering wireless service provider Boingo Wireless Inc.

Garrulous Mauro Sentinelli, the managing director of Telecom Italia Mobile SpA (Milan: TIM), basically admitted to an audience at the 3GSM World Congress earlier this year that the carrier had never wanted this stinky next-gen stuff in the first place. However, with Mauro in the driving seat, TIM is one of the few European carriers managing to navigate the crooked path to 3G data services with aplomb.

Now, we're not saying that these people, along with the eight others named, are the be-all and end-all of innovation in the service provider sector. In fact, we'd like you to suggest your top innovators for the list.

However, at a time when it seems many telecom executives know more about offshore banking than they do about undersea cables, our ten contenders have kept the faith and continued breaking new ground, helping to shape the communications scene of tomorrow.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
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