Telecom 2016

Progress Tracker:

Applications are now being Accepted

2016 Winners

Congratulations to our winners!

Click here to download the 2016 Telecom Innovation Report.






Congratulations to the 2016 Healthcare Innovation Awards Finalists, and thank you to all those who applied.



The Fierce Innovation Awards Program features four umbrella product/service categories, each with subcategories focusing on particular market segments. There’s also a Best in Show round of awards to recognize the cream of the innovation crop. And, one standout product or service will be selected for the Judges’ Choice award, given to the most innovative product among all 2016 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 more than one category definition.

Wireless Networks

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

  • Next-Gen Deployment: Equipment and solutions used to segue from the traditional wireless network buildouts to newer market models, including RAN virtualization and C-RAN, integration with small cells, 5G development, Internet of Things, LTE Cat M and hybrid networks.
  • Spectrum Efficiency: Hardware and software apps and services aimed at expanding the capacity of LTE, 4G, 3G and older mobile technologies, including unlicensed LTE, aggregation and reconfiguration.
  • Backhaul: IP/Ethernet networking and other solutions for the backhaul of mobile network traffic over a wireline network.
  • Small Cells/HetNet: Network solutions for densifying wireless networks, including the support of small-cell deployments (microcells, femtocells, DAS and more) and multi-interface approaches.
  • Rural Wireless: Approaches for making the business case work for bringing wireless connectivity and bandwidth to rural and under-served communities.
  • Next-Gen Voice Services: Options for developing, deploying and succeeding with this next generation of voice services, including Voice Over WiFi (VoWiFi) and Voice over LTE (VoLTE).
  • Wi-Fi and Traffic Offload: Technology solutions for the development of Wi-Fi business models, including microwave, mesh and carrier Wi-Fi. Solutions enable traffic offload for large and small players alike, and allow service providers to address new market segments.
  • Smart Cities: Platforms for supporting deployments of everything from smart street lights to parking applications to automatic trash collection, including Internet of Things network gear and software.

Wireline Networks

Showcasing the most innovative products, solutions and technologies for network-based service providers looking to deliver the next generation of services.

  • Last Mile/Edge/Access: Advances in broadband architectures for the last mile, including fiber, xDSL, PON, Ethernet, DOCSIS and cable, powerline and wireless transmission, as well as network edge or access network solutions.
  • Core Networking: Network technologies to support the next generation of long-haul and core wireless and fixed networks, including DWDM, IMS, packet optical, subsea cabling, 400G and more.
  • Managed Services: Platforms for offering managed, hosted offerings for enterprises and homes, including IT, troubleshooting, cloud, security, home automation, system monitoring, some satellite services and disaster recovery.
  • Data Centers: Solutions for the next wave of data center implementations, including cloud and virtualization, OpenStack/Open Compute, web-scale computing and storage, automation, Flash arrays and other options for boosting efficiency, scale and flexibility.
  • Business Services: olutions and gear for delivering enterprise services like voice over IP (VoIP), IP security monitoring, contact centers, unified communications (video and voice conferencing, speech recognition, e-mail and messaging) and collaboration.

Pay-TV and Online Video

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.

  • Cable and Video Network Architecture: Network equipment and physical architecture solutions aimed at supporting delivery of video services, including hardware- and software-based products, cloud, data equipment, fiber distribution systems and digital head-end gear.
  • Set-Tops and Gateways: Hardware and software solutions for set-top hardware, including DOCSIS gateways, DVRs and multiple-function hardware (voice, video and data); cloud-based offerings; and smart OS and hybrid video software.
  • Multiscreen Delivery: TV Everywhere platforms, mobile video delivery, content porting and more.
  • OTT Services: Platforms for delivering streaming content over unmanaged networks.
  • Next-Gen Video Services: Platforms for providing 4K, high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut and other next-gen resolution and picture technologies, along with augmented and virtual reality and next-gen DVR offerings.
  • Digital Media and OTT Monetization: Platforms supporting advertising programs and collateral, subscription plans, “freemium” models, zero-rating, content partnerships, loyalty options, transactional VOD, revenue plans and other digital billing and rating models.
  • Encoding/Transcoding: Video encoding and transcoding, adaptive bitrate, mobile video platforms, on-the-fly provisioning and more.
  • Advanced Advertising: Platforms for programmatic and addressable advertising, viewability, audience measurement/analytics, dynamic ad insertion (DAI) and more.

Business Transformation Management

Recognizing the forward-thinking operations platforms that allow service providers and network operators to innovate now and into the future.

  • BSS/OSS: Billing and operations support systems, including network management, customer experience management, service assurance, revenue management and other forward-thinking support and enablement software.
  • Service Orchestration and Delivery: Service delivery platforms, orchestration engines, subsystems and service-control solutions.
  • Network Test and Measurement: Handheld, portable and lab-based hardware, software or centralized solutions for testing, management and maintenance.
  • Customer Engagement: Partner management, Big Data analytics, customer service platforms, portal strategies, user-centric policy engines, self-provisioning, tools for leveraging and benchmarking social and companion apps, and more.
  • Network and Device Security: Partner management, Big Data analytics, customer service platforms, portal strategies, user-centric policy engines, self-provisioning, tools for leveraging and benchmarking social and companion apps, and more.
  • Conditional Access, Digital Rights Management and Authentication: Fresh approaches for the ever-changing content-protection market, including anti-piracy security, customer verification, geo-tracking, copyright protection and more.
  • SDN/NFV: Network function virtualization and software-defined networking options that support the unique requirements of telcos and other network operators.
  • Cloud Services: Solutions supporting cloud storage and service delivery, including apps, backup, digital lockers and data syncing.

 Best In Show

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

  • Best Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation: What device or service has allowed service providers to become successful first movers in this burgeoning market?
  • 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 Center Innovation: What product or service delivered the most dramatic cost savings compared with existing solutions or situations?
  • Best Service Agility Solution: What platform has allowed service providers to gain competitive advantage, uncover new revenue streams and seamlessly react to market trends as demand fluctuates?
  • Best Network Transformation Platform: The top-rated architectural/technological solution for positioning for future network traffic levels and bandwidth demands.

 The Judges' Choice Award

One category winner – the best of the best of the best – will receive the Judge’s Choice accolade, indicating the overall best new product/service out of all submissions. This honor recognizes the most innovative product among all entries, and the product most likely to positively and dramatically affect service-provider business models across the board.

Judges’ Criteria

Who better to judge the best new network innovations than the network operators who are actually evaluating and deploying next-gen voice, video and data technologies? The 2016 Fierce Innovation Awards panel includes representatives from a set of diverse global operators, who will 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:

  • Effectiveness: Does the platform or service deliver what it promises? Are there quantifiable metrics or case study information that demonstrates the submission’s real value within service provider networks?
  • Ease of Use/ROI: Does the entry improve and significantly impact a service provider’s business case, operational profile, business model and/or overall strategic position?
  • True Innovation: How unique of a product or service is the entry? What problems does it solve? Has it pioneered a new space or way of doing things? Has it sparked entirely new markets or opportunities for service providers? In other words, does it fit the definition of "game-changing?"
  • End-User Impact:: Does the submission support the delivery of a cutting-edge market offering? Does it improve the Quality of Service or Quality of Experience for end users? Does it reduce subscription costs? Does it make it easier for the consumer or business to adopt and/or manage their service?

All 2016 winners will receive industrywide recognition during a live webcast on November 17, 2016, 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 2015 Fierce Innovation Reportclick here.


Our Judges: 

Our Judges

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

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.

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.

Rob Howald
Vice President , 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. 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.

Douglass Britt
Principal/ Founder,
Dream Build Run

Doug Britt is the Principal/Founder of Dream Build Run, an advisory firm designed to help companies incubate, launch, scale and operate new mobile and digital businesses and products offerings. He has held various executive positions leading strategy, product, operations and business development efforts continuously driving innovation in Communications, Media and Technology. Most recently he was responsible for developing the initial product strategy and leading the life-cycle management efforts for Time Warner Cable’s nationwide WiFi network, its Broadband Service’s HomeWiFi offer, and wireless service offerings. Doug has also been Vice President of Data Services for Virgin Mobile USA, and the groundbreaking MVNO Helio. Previously he was Vice President of operations and business development for AGMobile an early industry leader in mobile content production. Doug has also led business development efforts for data services at Cingular Wireless, and been a management consultant in the Communication & High Tech sector for both Accenture and Ernst & Young . He holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon and a BS from Virginia Tech.

Live Awards Webcast & Innovation Report: 

Live Awards Webcast & Innovation Report

Winners will be announced during a live webcast on Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 2PM ET. We 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 17, 2016. 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 14, 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 Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

Winners will be announced during a live webcast on Thursday, November 17, 2016 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 at



Contact Us

If you have any questions, please email You can expect a reply within 24-48 hours. If you don't receive one, please contact 202-496-5557.  

Register for the webcast here.