Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners

As suggested here on Friday, United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) have jointly announced that Supercomm 2010 is "shelved". (See Rumor: Supercomm Is Dead and Supercomm: RIP.)

Why shelved?

The two groups say their conference manager -- Expocomm Events LLC, which is owned by E.J. Krause & Associates, Inc. and Reed Exhibitions -- is the party that pulled out because of "financial projections for the show this year."

No other details were available so it's too early to tell if "shelved" just means put up until later, as opposed to binned, scrapped, chucked, or taken out back and shot -- more artistic phrases which denote a bit more finality.

"Right now, we're not prepared to comment any further," said a TIA spokesman, when reached via phone.

Supercomm did take place in 2009 and was managed by Expocomm Events LLC, but no attendance figures were ever officially released. The show's Website says that "over 6,000 industry professionals participated in the event," but it's unclear if that's an attendance estimate or an audited figure.

And, yes, this show has had something of a problem with its marketing. (See 10 Reasons to Attend Supercomm.)

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:43:07 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners

Surprised at the relative lack of chatter on this.  Maybe we're all that tired of talking about Supercomm's future...

I'm not surprised at this, but I thought they had one more year in 'em.  Meaning, I expected the 2010 show to go on, even in a much smaller format if necessary, with 2011 being the year they called it quits, or at least "shelved" it.

Alfalfa72 12/5/2012 | 4:43:06 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners

A few comments: one product sector left "without a home" with the demise of Supercomm is optical transport equipment, although it is covered to an extent by OFC/NFOEC (NFOEC was, by the way, a great show back in the glory days), and is covered on an applications basis in other shows, such as TelcoTV and Cable-Tec. Tradeshow organizers these days must realize that they have to contend not only with the direct cost of the shows, but also the ability of downsized staffs to prepare for and stage these shows while performing actual product development. Resources are short, both in financial and personnel terms. In addition to four or five major shows, many vendors are covering 60 or more small state telco and cable TV shows. Cumulatively, the burden is huge. Unfortunately, tradeshows are cash cows for industry associations, and no organization wants to give up its event.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:43:03 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners The USTelecom daily newsletter is pretending nothing happened. Today's lead story was about how there are more DSL subscribers than any other kind of broadband. Cutting edge, as always.
Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 4:43:02 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners


I agree that the North American optical systems industry relied on Supercomm each year, and can't resist this plug for Light Reading's own Packet-Optical Transport Evolution Live event, which I chair.

Packet Optical Transport Evolution is set to take place on May 19th in NYC for anyone interested in the future of optical transport. Link to the full event is here.


Stay tuned as we continue to line up our speakers!


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:43:01 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners

Thanks Alfalfa.  Yes, the lack of an optical conference hasn't gone unnoticed... Andrew Schmitt of Infonetics (@aschmitt) and Teresa Mastrangelo of Broadband Trends (@broadbandtrends) were mentioning the old NFOEC days on twitter early today:

@aschmitt:  Idea for supercomm replacement - limited and moderated attendance, all private booths, limited booth size, croudsourced agenda and Q&A

Your second point, about there being lots of little shows to cover, opens some interesting questions.  It would seem Supercomm, as an aggregation point of sorts, is < all those little shows.

So, question not just to you but to everyone: Are things better this way, or will the industry want/need another central gathering point to emerge?

(And if it's the latter, does MWC, even with its mobile focus, already serve that purpose?)

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:42:59 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners


Supercomm's demise has followed the decline of the Telecom Equipment players.  The biggest change that I see is that RFPs have become winner take all at the large players and that the ability for new entrants has declined even further.  Since the Marketing group does not really get any effective new leads on these shows, and there are fewer people buying new things the need for the shows has declined.  

Right now, Supercomm filled 3 holes:

1 - A place to hand out resumes

2 - A place for BD activities

3 - A place to efficiently meet lots of existing partners

Thing is that none of this justifies very much cost for an exhibitor or an attendee.  Remember when Drew Lanza made his last posting thread about the exit of innovation in Optical Comms?  He basically stated that the scientists have nothing new and now it is just the engineers (not making a dig on engineers just that breakthroughs are incremental).  Think about the "HOT" optical topic...P-OTS.  I think it is funny that folks chose the same acronym as Plain Old Telephone Service.  But really, running packets over optical is not new.  It is a combination of old.  

Not saying Drew was the end all, but I think he is symptomatic.  




rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 4:42:58 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners

brookseven nailed it. there is no reason to attend a conference if there are no paying customers, no new leads and, most importantly, no new ideas being discussed. all we see is the same-old standards consortia regurgitating the same-old plain-old concepts.

domain based vendor selection further leads to a discouragement for new equipment vendors or startups to enter the fray. time was (and i do sound like an old fuddy-duddy now) if you had a grand new idea, a new widget, or a new cost-saving concept, you could walk into a carrier and get serious attention. you could get a jump on the staid old suppliers, get a lead on product development, get early sales and get acquired by aforementioned staid old supplier.

over time, startups found that the carriers would listen, take the idea to their preferred suppliers, wait an extra couple of years to get those features/ideas and dump the poor bastard startups who came up with the ideas. fool me once, fool me twice .. etc. also staid old suppliers are busy talking to one another right now and have no time for small startups.

there is a reason ofc continues to do better than supercomm - system vendors have not yet completely flipped the finger to startups. the day they do that, expect a supercomm-like fate for ofc and a demise of subsystem/component startups as well.

on a more positive note, innovation continues to thrive within large behemoths in asia!

odo <- who is planning a move to shenzhen


bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 4:42:57 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners

While I generally do not agree with 7 and odo.

How true their collectivel comments "ring". It is sad that we once enjoyed a booming industry and now many of us are scrambling to find the next market growth in the telecom industry.

The combination of large vendor/buyer consolidation, the continued outsourcing of resources, the rise of our eastern friends, the lack of VC monies, lack of technology innovation and growth of the software over the top models have all shaped the telecom industry.

My radical prediction is the complete collapse of the telecom vendor economy in NA, withing 3 years, resulting in massive taker overs by foreign ownership -1 cent on  ten dollar, increases in socialism, decrease in capitalism and new large govt run entities sponsered by foreign entities.

Vote Republican-Conservative in  2010.













rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 4:42:49 PM
re: Supercomm 2010 'Shelved' by Owners

@bollocks187, re: "While I generally do not agree with 7 and odo" .... really? had not noticed. also, didn't think i was very controversial on this board.

just noticed that huawei will invest half a billion in r&d in india; combine that with utstarcom and emcore businesses being bought out by chinese interests, at least part of bollocks187's radical prediction may be coming true.

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