Pipeline Publishing, Volume 4, Issue 2
This Month's Issue:
Keeping Customers
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Were you at NXTcomm 2007?

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By Tim Young

If you were among the thousands who made the trip to Chicago's McCormick Place for NXTcomm 2007, you were no doubt impressed by the glossy and professionally run event. The show, which embodies the reintegration of the USTA and TIA flagship show efforts into a single concentrated event, delivered what many have come to expect – a well-planned and precisely executed, premier telecommunications event. The signage, venue, keynote lightshows, and other production touches were spot-on (though it's a touch surreal to watch a panel of mainstream CTOs walk onto the stage to the Timbaland-produced beats of Justin Timberlake's My Love. Talk about juxtaposition.)

Another impression you may have walked away with was that, in keeping with other events Pipeline has covered lately, the discourse was functional and business-oriented. The volume of hype and buzz was somewhat muted and topics like IPTV, which were the realm of study and theory at Supercomm '05, and even Globalcomm '06, were now in the forefront, and were being analyzed within a real-world context.

In keeping with the more realistic content, the general tone of the show was also business-like. According to Trevor Hayes, LTC International industry analyst, people on the exhibition floor did have some strong messages about their technologies, but seemed reluctant to make bold statements about the business impact. Hayes was in that particular case referring to DiTech Networks, whose voice quality optimization solutions have the potential to make VoIP, including peer-to-peer services like Skype, even more disruptive.

Within the software space, however, not everyone was making bold statements in meek ways. Some were making few statements at all. Some software companies we spoke to shelved press releases for later distribution after taking note of crowd levels that were less than anticipated. People were there, to be sure. While we don't have final tallies, there was definitely a solid turn out for the show. And, some booths were packed. These micro hubs of activity were seen at several exhibits, many of which were operated by hardware companies. In all, more than 500 companies elected to exhibit their latest technology at NXTcomm this year.

Speaking of booths, some of the displays were pretty spectacular. UTStarcom comes to mind, with its massive jetliner booth, complete with a satellite-clad Hummer protruding from the display. The Nokia display with it's clean Scandanavian lines and general mass was also interesting, and Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft were drawing crowds to their respective massive booths. Several vendors

The show…delivered what many have come to expect – a well-planned and precisely executed, premier telecommunications event.


noted that the show was an ideal environment for strengthening their partnerships, and many exhibitors chose to team up in order to present a range of related solutions.

In terms of topics and concepts floating around at the show, one central focus was taking what has been accomplished and making it better. That is, at previous shows, technology like IPTV and even VoIP were treated as vague and wonderful ideas with few real-world applications or deployments. Now these technologies are in full swing and it's up to the industry to ensure that QoS is maintained, and all services are properly ordered, billed for, and provisioned. Real stuff.

Security was another topic on the lips of a number of companies. While it has always been an issue in the tech and telecom space, the sheer stakes involved with modern denial of service attacks and other dangers lurking about, it was a more visible issue than ever. Narus was on hand asserting its position as a leader in security. The network security firm has recently expanded its footprint with an development center opening in India, but was in Chicago to reiterate its relevance in a dangerous world.

Allot mentioned security as being part of the need for advanced deep packet inspection (DPI). The firm was exhibiting its new Service Gateway, which supports two 10 Gigabit Ethernet links. Though the focus is clearly on maximizing efficiency and ensuring QoS, security is also a concern, as DPI can be used to locate not only problems naturally occurring in the network, but problems occurring as a result of malice as well.

Some other presence of note at the event:

  • Nakina was doubly present, both with a booth and through its new partnership with ANDA Networks. The partnership is one of many strategic pairings that Nakina has announced recently,

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