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Leading Lights 2016: There's Still Time

Ray Le Maistre
3/29/2016

Time is running out to participate in Leading Lights 2016, the industry's most prestigious awards program, but the good news is that it's quick and easy to enter and there are plenty of categories.

Our initial deadline was March 25, and we had a giant digital pile of great entries submitted before the end of last week. WOOHOO!! The final deadline, though, is Friday, April 8, but that will be it -- after the end of business that Friday no further entries will be considered, as the judging process will begin immediately.

And there's plenty of judging to be done. This year we have more categories than ever -- 27 in total -- including two new awards (related to 5G Strategy and Service Provider Transformation). Here's the full list:

  • Best New Product (Cable)
  • Best New Product (Mobile)
  • Best New Product (Telecom)
  • Most Innovative SMB Service
  • Most Innovative Enterprise Service
  • Most Innovative Wireless Service (3G, 4G, Carrier WiFi)
  • Most Innovative Carrier Cloud Service
  • Most Innovative Ethernet/Optical Service
  • Most Innovative Video Service
  • Most Innovative NFV Deployment Strategy (Network/Data Center Operator)
  • Most Innovative NFV Product Strategy (Vendor)
  • Most Innovative SDN Deployment Strategy (Network/Data Center Operator)
  • Most Innovative SDN Product Strategy (Vendor)
  • Most Innovative Security Strategy (Service Provider)
  • Most Innovative Security Strategy (Vendor)
  • Most Innovative Gigabit Broadband Service
  • Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy (Service Provider)
  • Most Innovative IoT/M2M Strategy (Vendor)
  • Most Innovative 5G Strategy *NEW*
  • Outstanding Transformation Strategy (Service Provider) *NEW*
  • Outstanding Components Vendor
  • Outstanding Test & Measurement Vendor
  • Outstanding OSS/BSS Vendor
  • Company of the Year (Private)
  • Company of the Year (Public)
  • Best Deal Maker
  • Hall of Fame *FREE TO ENTER*

As an added bonus this year, the winner of the "Company of the Year (Public)" award will be presented with an original Ericsson "Skeleton" telephone, designed by Lars Magnus Ericsson in 1892. (See Win a Genuine Telecom Artifact at This Year's Leading Lights Awards.)

In addition, and for the first time, we also have three special Women In Comms awards:

  • Most Inspiring Woman in Comms *FREE TO ENTER* *NEW*
  • Female Tech Pioneer of the Year *FREE TO ENTER* *NEW*
  • Female-Led Startup to Watch *FREE TO ENTER* *NEW*

To find out more about those awards, see Honoring Women in Comms' Leading Lights.

Here are some key pointers for anyone preparing to enter the awards:

  • You can get a preview of the questions that need to be answered for each category: Go to the Leading Lights home page, find the category/categories that you want to enter and then click on the "Preview Entry Questions" link.

  • Time frame for eligible entries: The 2016 Leading Lights celebrates the accomplishments of the industry from the past year, so make sure that your entry focuses on what has been launched and/or announced since April 1, 2015. If you unveiled a new box or announced a new strategy in 2013, that's not going to make the shortlists…

  • Check the names of the awards and the details closely: Make sure you're entering the right award. Some of our categories are designated for service providers only and some for vendors only. And if a submission asks for details in 200 words or less, then it's best to follow those guidelines if you want to be shortlisted.

  • You've got to be in it to win it: If you don't enter, please don't email me in June asking why you didn't win this year… If you want to be a winner, get your entry in now! Getting shortlisted for a Leading Lights award takes time, thought, concentration and effort, but it'll be worth it.

  • We have a FAQ document that can help you: We've done our best to answer those Frequently Asked Questions in this FAQ document.

  • The judging process is quick and intense: The shortlists/finalists will be announced during the week of April 15. The winners will be announced at the industry dinner/party of the year in Austin, Texas, on Monday, May 23, the evening before the doors open for Light Reading's Big Communications Event (BCE).

    To see who picked up the awards last year (and so had even more fun at our lavish awards party in Chicago), see:

    Don't forget that we are also looking for nominations for individuals who deserve to be inducted into the Light Reading Hall of Fame, which recognizes those individuals, both the famous and the infamous, who have made a notable contribution to the global communications sector. Among those inducted in previous years are Steve Jobs, Bob Metcalfe, John Chambers, Brian Roberts, Kris Rinne, Martin Cooper, Irwin Jacobs, Larissa Herda, James Crowe, Niklas Zennström, Edward Snowden and Bernie Ebbers. (See Light Reading Hall of Fame 2015.)

    If you've already entered the awards -- congratulations! That means you stand a chance of winning. If you haven't entered yet, then get moving -- your biggest rival may already be one step ahead of you.

    For full details and more information, visit the Leading Lights home page.

    — Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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