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The 2015 Fierce Innovation Awards Program

Google the word “network,” and you’ll come up with myriad takes on what the word means, depending on what technology is involved. What is certain is that today’s broadband configurations includes hardware, software, programming, security measures, voice, data and all the resulting services aimed at business and residential usage. And with hundreds, if not thousands, of designers, manufacturers and service providers in the marketplace, innovation must be the lifeblood of network competition.

Countless new products and services are introduced annually with the goal of helping service providers to solve critical challenges, and to provide them with new and better ways to protect their bottom lines while creating enhanced revenue streams. Who is offering the crème de la crème? The 2015 Fierce Innovation Awards Program will identify and showcase outstanding service and equipment developments unveiled during the past 12 months along with those who make them, install them and deploy them.

The goal of this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards Program is three-pronged:

  •  To promote the competitive spirit and initiative that spurs the design, development and distribution of groundbreaking broadband voice, video and data solutions;
  •  To seek out the most evolutionary and revolutionary technologies and services in the wireline, wireless and pay/OTT TV arenas; and
  •  To recognize and reward the best and brightest operators, service providers and vendors for their commitment to feeding customers a steady diet of next-gen business and consumer offerings.

To download the 2015 Fierce Innovation Report: Telecom Edition, click here.

Host publications:


The Fierce Innovation Awards Program features four umbrella product/service categories, each with subcategories focusing on particular market segments as well as a Best in Show round of awards to recognize the best of the best. Also recognized will be that one standout product or service for the Judges’ Choice award, given to the most innovative product among all 2015 entries -- the product most likely to positively and dramatically affect service provider networks across the board.

Applicants will have the opportunity to enter a single product into several product categories, if it fits the category definition.

Wireless Networks

Recognizing the top products, solutions and technology developments in the wireless market produced for traditional mobile network operators and alternative wireless broadband providers.

  • New This Year! Spectrum Efficiency: Hardware and software apps and services aimed at expanding the capacity of LTE, 4G, 3G and older mobile technologies, including Wi-Fi, aggregation and reconfiguration.
  • New This Year! Muni Solutions/Giga Wi-Fi Hotspots: Software, devices and services that speed streaming of video and data on either municipal-sized networks or in retailers/enterprises/residences. Includes cloud-based smart services, in-car broadband, personal security add-ons, subscription services and free services.
  • Next-Gen Deployment: Equipment and solutions used to segue from the traditional wireless network buildouts to newer market models, including software-defined networking (SDN), software-optimized networking (SON) and distributed antenna systems (DAS).
  • Cell Sites: Equipment and products for macro- and small-cell deployments.
  • Traffic Offload: Technologies that enable the offloading of data traffic to alternative network architectures in congested network areas, including adaptive Wi-Fi, routers and beamforming.
  • Metrocell Backhaul: IP/Ethernet network topologies and solutions for the backhaul of more urban mobile network traffic over a wireline network.

Wireline Networks

Showcasing the most innovative products, solutions & technologies for wireline service providers, including traditional telcos and other operators using hardwired network facilities.

  • New This Year! Data Recovery: Tools that allow businesses and home systems to recover “lost” data before it’s really gone, including diagnostics, imaging tools, hard-data-drive and solid-state-drive programs, open-source apps, readers and consistency checkers.
  • New This Year! Managed Services: Third-party provision or hosting/management of network services, apps and equipment to enterprises and some homes, including IT, troubleshooting, cloud, security, system monitoring, mobility, customer support, some satellite services and disaster recovery.
  • New This Year! Business Systems: Enterprise solutions and gear for Voice over IP, IP security monitoring, unified communications (video and voice conferencing, speech recognition, e-mail and messaging), collaboration and company-owned mobile devices.
  • Data Communications: Tools for PBX, DSL, VoDSL, high-speed broadband, bandwidth management and upstream/downstream services.
  • Core/Transport: New ways to make the move to next-generation networks, including hardware/software for FTTH and VDSL2 along with products addressing inter-network exchanges between different network operators.
  • Last Mile/Edge/Access: Advances in broadband architectures for the last mile, including fiber, DSL, Ethernet, coaxial cable, powerline and wireless transmission as well as network edge or access network solutions.
  • Data Centers: Hardware/software for in-house or collocated data-center infrastructures (i.e., Open Compute Project-compatible) and business continuity.

Pay-TV, Advanced-TV and Video Networks

Identifying the best new products, solutions and technology offered to cable-TV and satellite operators, telco-TV companies and other broadband providers that offer video content.

  • New This Year! Program Guides: Carrier-provided hardware and software apps; Wi-Fi-enabled iOS, Android and tablet apps that allow subscriber gear to serve as controls; the best in set-up, search-and-discover, customization and preference recognition.
  • New This Year! Over-The-Top (OTT) Monetization: Advertising programs and collateral, subscription plans, “freemium” models, content partnerships, and loyalty options.
  • Cable and Video Network Architecture: Network equipment and physical architecture solutions aimed at supporting delivery of video services, including hardware- and software-based products, UltraHD, cloud, data equipment, fiber distribution systems and digital head-end gear.
  • Set-Top Boxes and Related Devices: Hardware and software solutions for set-top hardware, including DOCSIS gateways, DVRs and multiple-function hardware (voice, video and data).
  • OTT Services: Applications and hardware that support the streaming or downloading of proprietary or collaborative/partnered video content via the Internet.
  • Multi-Screen: Hardware and software technologies that support multi-format video delivery and viewing, including encoders and transcoders.

 Network Support, Software and Service Delivery

Rewarding the brightest, most exciting new releases targeting areas common to all of the above network-architecture types.

  • New This Year! Customer Security: Methods and apps to protect against identity and other sensitive-data theft, including information storage, personnel access, information disposal, security-review processes and master-usage plans.
  • Conditional Access, Digital Rights Management and Authentication:  Cyber products for the ever-changing content-protection market, including security, customer verification and subscriber management.
  • Cloud Services: Solutions supporting cloud storage and service delivery, including apps, backup, digital lockers and data syncing. 
  • Service/Session Creation, Orchestration and Delivery: Service delivery platforms, orchestration engines, subsystems and service-control solutions.
  • BSS/OSS: Billing and operations support systems and such other back-office solutions like asset tracking, routing, IPTV, VoIP and customer management.
  • Network and Device Security: Hardware and software for attack detection, prevention and protection.
  • Network Test and Measurement: Handheld, portable and lab-based hardware, software or centralized solutions for testing, management and maintenance.

 Best In Show

All of the category winners will be eligible for our "Best in Show" honors.

  • New This Year! Best Internet of Things (IoT) Application: What device or service has connected machine with machine for such things as network monitoring and troubleshooting, environmental sensoring, wearable wireless devices, energy management, cloud-based services or smart-city deployments?
  • New This Year! Best Value-Added Service: It didn’t start out as a “must have,” but this service turned into a “nice to have” revenue enhancer, including perhaps Voice Over Wi-Fi and WebRTC along with email, messaging, Video on Demand, gateway voice and/or data and prepaid offerings.
  • Best ‘Green’ Installation or App: What hardware and software enabled an operator, service provider or content developer to reduce its energy consumption and make better use of the energy it does use?
  • Best Cost-Saving Innovation: What product or service delivered the most dramatic cost savings compared with existing solutions or situations?
  • Best New Revenue Creator/Enhancer: Which application most likely will generate new revenue for a service provider or will dramatically enhance that provider’s current revenue channels?
  • Best Technological Problem-Solver: The top-rated solution that solves an existing architectural/technological conundrum or widely recognized problem.

Judges’ Criteria

Who better to judge the best new network innovations than network operators who actually would be deploying such voice, video and data technologies? The 2015 Fierce Innovation Awards Program panel includes representatives from diverse global operators to help determine which products and services are the cream of this year’s crop.The judges will evaluate all qualified submissions based on the following criteria:

  • True Innovation: Is the product or service technology innovative on its own or used in an innovative way? How does it improve on existing hardware/software or services? What problems does it solve?
  • Financial Impact: Does this product or service help operators and content creators save money?
  • End-User Customer Experience: Does this product or service make an operator’s or service provider’s network better/faster/stronger/cost-effective?
  • Overall Level of “Best”: Is this product truly cutting edge?

Winners will receive industrywide recognition during a live Webcast on November 11, 2015, and in a special Fierce Innovation Report that will be released concurrently with the Awards. The downloadable Report also will address the impact recently released and deployed technology, products and services have had on the cable, satellite, OTT, wireless and wireline industries during the past 12 months along with some prognostication regarding the future of broadband voice/video/data marketplace based on what we’ve learned from this year’s Innovation Awards winners. To read the 2014 Fierce Innovation Reportclick here.


  The Judges’ Choice Award

One category winner – the best of the best of the best – will take home the prize for the Overall Best New Product/Service: The most innovative product among all entries, the product most likely to positively and dramatically affect service-provider networks across the board.


The Fierce Innovation Awards offer a variety of options for involvement. Choose the option that best suits your budget and goals.

$500 Award Application Only

Our basic entry fee allows your technology or service to be reviewed by our expert panel of judges.
(Note, you may submit a single product/service for consideration in more than one category, however, the $500 fee will be charged per category.)

$750 Award Application & Directory Listing

Enhance your participation in the program with a 150-word directory listing in our Fierce Innovation Report, circulated to all 170,000+ readers of FierceTelecom, FierceCable and FierceWireless.
Directory listing specs: 150 word maximum; include any hyperlinks, 2 maximum.

$1500 Award Application, Directory Listing & Single Page Ad

Increase your exposure in the Fierce Innovation Report by also placing a full-page ad.
Directory listing specs: 150-word maximum; include two hyperlinks max.
Ad specs: 2048px x 1536px @ 72 DPI .pdf document; horizontal orientation; can include up to two hyperlinks.

$2500 Award Application, Directory Listing, Single Page Ad & 500-Word Article

A unique opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership! Include an article in the Fierce Innovation Report. Directory listing specs: 150-word maximum; include up to two hyperlinks.
Ad specs: 2048px x 1536px @ 72 DPI .pdf document; horizontal orientation; can include up to two hyperlinks..

Article specs: 500-word maximum; must include headline and byline; submit as .doc or .docx; include .eps file of company logo; include two hyperlinks max.


The winners will be announced via a Live Awards Webcast on Wednesday, November 11 2015, at 2PM ET. The presentation of awards will be delivered by Jason Nelson, publisher of FierceWireless, FierceTelecom and FierceCable.

"Best in Show" winners will also have the opportunity to speak for two minutes each about their winning solutions.

Our Judges

All submissions to judges will be blind, and they will not be reviewed by members of the Fierce editorial team. 

Jeff Cologna 
Strategic Partnerships,
U.S. Cellular Product & Innovation 

Jeff Cologna is a leader within the U.S. Cellular Product & Innovation organization. Jeff focuses on developing commercial relationships and investing in strategic privately held, venture capital backed companies. The organization leverages partners across the mobile ecosystem to bring a broad array of products and services to consumer and SMB customers. Prior to his current role, Jeff lead all aspects of U.S. Cellular’s MVNO channel focusing on telematics, and prepay services. Jeff has over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications across various functional areas, including leadership roles in partnership development, sales, and real estate. Jeff earned a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Jeff is a committed volunteer and science board member helping protect grasslands for the Nature Conservancy. 

Andrew Ip 
Senior Vice President of Optimum Labs,
Cablevision System Corporation

Andrew leads Cablevision’s Optimum Labs group and its efforts to introduce industry-leading hardware and software technologies. This work includes identifying strategic supporting technologies, and product and engineering partners to transform prototypes into Optimum products.Previously, as senior vice president of infrastructure and wireless technology management, Andrew led Cablevision’s outdoor WiFi network expansion and upgrade efforts, improving the customer experience, making WiFi available where customers need it most and enabling Cablevision to become a premiere connectivity company. Prior to Cablevision, Andrew was a management consultant, advising clients across the broadband ecosystem, including North American MSOs, international mobile operators, OEMs, device manufacturers, content providers, and industry investors. Most recently, Andrew was a partner at Meridian Advisory Group (MAG) and a consultant at Mars & Co.

Dan Murphy
Verizon Innovation Program

Dan Murphy is Director of the Verizon Innovation Program with lab and briefing centers located in San Francisco, CA and Waltham, MA. Dan leads a team focused on enabling partners to bring innovative, non-traditional connected solutions to the marketplace while leveraging Verizon’s portfolio of services, including cloud, security and America’s largest 4G LTE network. The program offers business development, product development and lab engineering services.Prior to his current role, Dan was Director of Product Development at Verizon focusing on wireless home solutions, Wi-Fi, Femtocells and Personal Emergency Response services. Dan has been with Verizon for 18 years and has held roles in Sales, Marketing, Operations, Network and Product Development throughout his career. He completed his undergraduate work at Rowan University and graduate studies at Rutgers University.

Mattias Fridström 
Vice President & Head of Technology,
TeliaSonera International Carrier 

With over 15 years in the telecommunications industry, Mattias Fridström can be considered a veteran – but his enthusiasm hasn’t faded. Mattias combines expert knowledge with anecdotes from behind the scenes and deep insight into the networked economy: What are the challenges of tomorrow for network providers? How can we meet ever-increasing traffic demand and customer quality expectations within the same cost frame? Mattias holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wollongong, Australia. Since joining Telia in 1996, he has worked in a number of senior roles within TeliaSonera International Carrier. Since 2011, Mattias has held the position of Vice President, Technology; with the responsibility for the entire global network.

Robert Howald
Vice President of Network Architecture,

Dr. Howald has over 25 years of technology and executive experience in commercial and military communications systems.  He is Vice President of Network Architecture at Comcast, focused on the evolution of cable systems and services, future network architectures, and emerging broadband technologies.  He held a similar role at ARRIS and the former Motorola Mobility.  Prior to this, Dr. Howald was the Vice President of Engineering at Xytrans, specializing in millimeter wave products for cellular backhaul, homeland security, and people screening.  He was also the Director of Systems Engineering with General Instrument and Motorola’s prior Broadband Communications Systems division. Dr. Howald has taught graduate courses in communications and wireless systems engineering, has published over 150 papers, and has multiple patents issued and pending. He has a BSEE and MSEE from Villanova University, a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering from Drexel University, and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from DeSales University.

Ron Marquardt, Ph.D.
Vice President of Technology, Innovation & Architecture

As Vice President of Technology for Sprint, Dr. Marquardt is responsible for SprintUs long-term technology strategy and architecture, the industry relationships and investments enabling SprintUs innovation and ecosystem development goals, as well as the companyUs advocacy in US and global industry forums and standards bodies. He also represents Sprint at speaking engagements, in press and analyst interviews, and as needed with regulatory bodies and other industry stakeholders. Prior to Sprint, Dr. Marquardt was VP of Technology Development at Clearwire Corporation, responsible for that companyUs technology strategy as well as the architecture, design, testing, and implementation of its mobile broadband 4G network, devices, and services. He also was CTO at Covad Communications where he led teams responsible for the engineering and network planning of VoIP, wireless, and broadband services across the United States. Prior to that role, he was in various positions at network equipment manufacturers. Dr. Marquardt has an S.B. in Physics from MIT, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, and is an alumnus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

David A. Mayo
Senior Vice President Technology,
T-Mobile USA

Dave serves as the senior vice president technology for T-Mobile USA. He has business management responsibility for $10 billion in network capital and operating costs and is responsible for development and implementation of key strategic initiatives. Mayo pioneered the mass deployment of fiber to T-Mobile’s cell sites in the mid-2000s and more recently developed the company’s LTE rollout strategy. He joined the company (then Western Wireless) in 1996. Prior to joining T-Mobile, Mayo held leadership positions at US West New Vector Group, Flow International Corp, and Price Waterhouse. Mayo earned a degree in business administration from the University of Washington with concentrations in accounting and operations and systems analysis. Mayo and his wife Veronica live in Bellevue, Washington and enjoy boating, skiing and frequency visits to the sunny southwest.

Michael Weston
Senior Executive,

Mike Weston is Senior Executive of Verizon Enhanced Communities, the Verizon group dedicated to serving the multifamily market.  Weston leads the national sales and marketing organization tasked with bringing Verizon technology solutions to serve the special needs of multifamily owners, developers, and managers. Weston has over 20 years experience in telecommunications, having served various engineering and management roles within Verizon, Cable & Wireless, and SBC.  Weston holds both a bachelor’s degree in business management and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.


Think your product or solution has what it takes? Take a few minutes to look at this year's categories, which include several new opportunities to enter. You'll see why companies with cutting-edge products and services shouldn't risk passing on this chance to shine. Your competitors won't!

For questions, please contact us at

Live Awards Webcast & Innovation Report

Winners will be announced by Jason Nelson, publisher of FierceWireless,FierceTelecom and FierceCable, on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at 2PM ET. Jason will recognize finalists, category and Best in Show winners. Best in Show winners will also have the opportunity to speak during the webcast.

To register for the live webcast, please contact us at

The Innovation Report is a companion publication to the awards program that will publish the day of our live webcast, November 11, 2015. The report will highlight some of the most pressing challenges, promising trends and innovative technologies that are defining today's communication industry. The report is also a forum to learn about the the participants in the program, including finalists, category and Best in Show winners in addition, there are advertising opportunities available within the report, including full page ads, thought leadership articles, and directory listings. Please visit our Pricing page to learn more.


Any company that has a product, solution or service that is helping to address the challenges faced by service providers.

When is the application deadline?

Friday, October 2, at 11:59PM ET.

Visit our Categories page for descriptions of each category. If you still can’t decide, feel free to contact us and we can help you figure out which category or categories are the best fit for your product, solution or service.

Yes. You may submit the same product to multiple categories, or, submit multiple products to the same category. There is no limit to how many applications your company can submit.
It is mandatory for your application to include your company name, company website, product name, company overview (150 words maximum), product description (500 words maximum), an explanation of the real world application of your product (500 words maximum), and your company logo as a .EPS file. You also have the opportunity to provide up to ten pages of additional information such as press releases, PowerPoint presentations, etc.

Visit the Apply Now! page to submit your application. You'll need to provide us with your contact information, a Microsoft Word file of your application containing your company name, company website, product name, company overview (150 words maximum), product description (500 words maximum), an explanation of the real world application of your product (500 words maximum), an .EPS file of your company logo, and payment via credit card. 

You will receive an email confirming that your submission was successful. If you have issues submitting your application, please contact us.

The cost to submit a single application is $500. Applicants also have the opportunity to purchase advertising in our Innovation Report (a report that will examine the most important forces guiding power innovation as well as recognize finalists, category and Best in Show winners). Advertising opportunities include directory listings, full page advertisements, and thought leadership articles. All pricing information can be found on our Pricing page.

You can pay for your application using a credit card at the time of submission. 

Each application will be reviewed by multiple judges against a set of criteria designed to evaluate the product’s ability to make a positive, innovative, real world impact on the cable, satellite, OTT, wireless and wireline industries during the past 12 months. The criteria includes: technology innovation, financial impact, market validation, compatibility with existing network environments, end-user customer experience, and overall level of innovation. Each judge will provide a score to each set of criteria (1-5; 5=highest, 1=lowest); all scores from each judge are then averaged. The applications with the highest average scores are designated as category finalists and category winners.

"Best in Show" winners will be selected from the combined Innovation Awards categories.

Yes, judges will supply comments and feedback on your submission.

Finalists will be notified via email on Monday, October 26, 2015.

Winners will be announced by Jason Nelson, Publisher of FierceEnergy and Smart Grid News, during a live webcast on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 2PM ET. Jason will recognize finalists, category and Best in Show winners. Best in Show winners will also have the opportunity to speak during the webcast. Click here to register for the webcast.

Immediately following the live webcast our Innovation Report will be available for download. The Innovation Report will also recognize the finalists, category and Best in Show winners.

The Innovation Report is a companion publication to the awards program. The report will highlight some of the most pressing challenges, promising trends and innovative technologies that are defining today's service provider industry.

The report is also a forum to learn about the the participants in the program including finalists, category and Best in Show winners.

There are also advertising opportunities available within the report including full page ads, thought leadership articles, and directory listings. Please visit our Pricing page to learn more.

If we have not addressed your question or if you need additional information, please contact us.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please email You can expect a reply within 24 hours. If you don't receive one, please contact 202-496-5549.  


Last Year's Winners

Congratulations to the 2014 Telecom Innovation Awards Category Winners and Best in Show Winners, and thank you to all who applied. 

Click here to download the 2014 Telecom Innovation Report.

Last Year's Finalists

Congratulations to the 2014 Telecom Innovation Awards Finalists, and thank you to all those who applied. Click here to download the 2014 Telecom Innovation Report.