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Advancing the Road to 5G

While 5G won’t be a formal standard for a while yet, the telecoms industry is already awash with ideas, requirements and use-cases for the next generation of wireless technology. This award will be given to the submission that has shown the most significant contribution to the collective drive towards a 5G standard either in the form of technological innovation, improved collaboration or simply helping define what it needs to include.

AI and automation initiative of the year

Artificial Intelligence is becoming an increasingly significant factor for the telecoms industry in a number of ways. The growing complexity and automation of networks and security requires real time management beyond human ability. Meanwhile the trend towards cloud-based ‘smart assistants’ puts significant additional burden on the network. Automation is also extending into other areas such as autonomous vehicles, which are also reliant on connectivity. This award will go to the automation initiative that demonstrates the clearest progress in this field.

Best Digital Transformation Project

Digital transformation is a broad concept encompassing all the ways in which businesses can move their products, processes, communication and underlying culture into the digital age. In the context of telecoms this has become especially critical in the smartphone era as consumer expectations have rapidly shifted in the digital direction. This award will be won by the project that has done most to bring about digital transformation in an organisation and can best demonstrate the resulting benefits.

BSS/OSS transformation excellence

Telecoms consumers are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to the value, flexibility and relevance of their communications services. For telecoms companies BSS is the frontline technology for interacting with their customers and therefore is more business-critical than ever. Meanwhile it’s also vital that OSS provides the agility to allow operators to meet demand. This award will go the BSS and/or OSS initiative that demonstrates the greatest innovation and commercial benefit to its users.

Connecting the Unconnected

A surprising proportion of the global population still have limited access to communication technologies, which have been consistently shown to improve independence, productivity and standard of living once acquired. Judges will be looking for evidence of uptake within the groups addressed and the benefits provided as well as innovation in the use of the network, equipment, products, solutions or service provision.

Content matters

The mutliplay trend among major operators around the world shows no sign of slowing, which means the provision of content and digital services – mainly of the TV and video variety – is taking on increasing importance. This award recognises innovation in providing content and/or digital services to customers. Judges will be looking for success in providing original content, an OTT offering, a content partnership or any other initiative that delivers value for consumers and generates new revenue streams.

Fixed Network Evolution

This award recognises excellence in the field of residential, wholesale or enterprise fixed broadband – such as FTTH or A successful entry will demonstrate how network innovations are delivering new levels of service quality for customers; generating new revenue streams or business models; or disrupting competitive markets. Ideal entrants would be from ISPs, cable operators, fibre providers or network solutions vendors.

Ground-breaking Virtualization Initiative

NFV and SDN have rapidly moved from concept to trial to real-world implementation. Virtualization will be a cornerstone of the next generation of telecoms technology and the time to invest in it is now. This award will be won by the virtualization initiative or project that is shown to have done the most to move things forward in the area of virtualized network functions and advance the general cause of virtualization in the context of telecoms.

IoT Initiative of the Year

As the Internet of Things finally enters its commercial phase, this award will recognise any initiative that develops IoT on a technological and/or commercial basis. Successful entries are likely to be those that demonstrate significant advancements in the technology of IoT – from embedded modules to LPWAN to cloud support – or those that realised significant commercial benefits. Any area of IoT will be considered, from industrial, to connected car to smart home.

Managed Services Innovation of the Year

As the telecoms industry becomes ever more complex, CSPs are increasingly turning to managed services to help them stay on top of it. This award will be won by the entry that can demonstrate innovation in managed service provision resulting in the most significant benefit to the customer. This could be any kind of managed service and any kind of telecoms customer.

Mobile Money Mastery

Telecommunications is revolutionising the way the world handles money from payments, to credit, to banking and every year there are significant breakthroughs in this area. The Mobile Money Mastery award will be presented to the company, product or initiative that demonstrates the greatest innovation in the provision of financial services via telecommunications networks and/or mobile devices.

Most Innovative Cloud Service

Over and above the specific benefits of NFV the cloud looms large on the telecoms horizon. Whether its software defined networking, ‘as a service’ business processes or simply the greater demand on the network generated by the need to mobile or IoT devices to constantly communicate with the cloud this is one of the defining technological tends of our time. The winner will be the submission that demonstrates the most innovative approach to the cloud in the past 12 months.

Security Solution of the Year

Security frailties have repeatedly made headlines over the past 12 months, as such this category will award excellence cyber threats mitigation for to telecoms operators. Entries will demonstrate excellence in fields such as SS7 security, protection against fraudulent activity, DDoS mitigation, data protection, cloud security and everything in between. Judges will be looking to understand the threats prevented, the impact to business and the technologies utilised to defend networks.

Telecoms Transformation

This award focuses on any commercial or technological initiatives that have resulted in a significant improvement in communications service delivery. This category is unconstrained by technology type and is designed to reward any innovation in the telecoms space. Judges are looking for projects yielding substantial business gain to the CSP community.