Archive for March 18th, 2009

Supercomm - bending, never breaking?

 We had heard the rumors for weeks. Supercomm sales were off, vendors were cutting back, Chicago hotels were even telling people the show was cancelled.

Efforts to track down the truth of rumors were turned back, and now we know why.  Supercomm officials have been working behind the scenes for a while now to move the show to Oct. 21-23 with the hopes that the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus will goose a sagging industry and prompt more people to attend the one major trade show dedicated to all aspects of the U.S. broadband infrastructure.

Change like this doesn’t happen overnight. Officials in Chicago and at McCormick Place had to agree, other support vendors had too, as well, not to mention exhibitors and major attendees.

Somewhere along the lines, the rumors started to swirl. Given the budget constraints that everyone is facing, a smaller Supercomm made a lot of sense.

But this change makes more sense. This isn’t a delay to see if the economy recovers by fall, because real recovery will take longer than that. Had the show been cancelled altogether (and that’s a possibility no one is admitting having considered) the Supercomm organization and its two backers - USTelecom and the TIA – would have faced significant financial penalities, from which Supercomm might not have recovered. 

By moving Supercomm to October and focusing more directly on the broadband stimulus opportunities, this 20-plus year old event lives to see another day. And I, for one, think that’s a good thing. 

(Full disclosure: Telephony is the official producer of Supercomm’s Show Daily and a partner in programming)

ABI: Tough 2009 awaits wireless vendors

Wireless infrastructure vendors may not get a pass in this recession like some had predicted. ABI Research has released new market data this week that projects the global radio access market to contract by 6% this year, falling to $49 billion.

In January, Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg proclaimed that the mobile equipment industry was not in telecom crisis, though other equipment sectors–particularly handsets–were feeling the pinch. Despite the battered economy and dried-up capital markets, Svanberg said, mobile operators were still investing in their networks. Motorola’s Q4 network revenues seemed to back up Ericsson’s claims, largely on the strength of Moto’s WiMAX sales, but Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks weren’t so rosy in their predictions. Even Ericsson’s positive outlook was clouded by the 5000 layoffs. more

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