Cable Technology Feature Article
February 08, 2010
SuperComm Officially Canceled for 2010
By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
Its official: SuperComm (News - Alert), at one time the U.S. telecom industry’s big annual event, has been cancelled for 2010. The show, hosted for 17 years by the Telecommunications Industry Association and USTelecom (News - Alert), encountered turbulence in 2002 with the telecom and Internet bubble burst.
It ran into more trouble in 2005, when the two sponsors apparently could not agree on revenue splits, resulting in two separate meetings, one hosted by USTA, called “Telecom Next,” and a different event, NXTComm, hosted by TIA (News - Alert).
The two organizations decided to re-launch SuperComm in 2009 as a combined meeting, with an emphasis on “broadband.”
One might point to differing agendas. TIA largely represents industry suppliers while UST largely represents incumbent telcos. But some observers say the need for a big annual meeting is less crucial.
For starters, the consolidation of industry players has meant fewer potential service provider attendees, sponsors and exhibitors. Larger service providers also tightened up travel rules in the wake of the telecom bubble, so fewer service provider attendees were able to make the trek.
At the same time, one has to suspect that better communication technologies have made possible better continuous communication between suppliers and buyers, so the need to physically attend an annual meeting arguably was reduced.
Also, much industry attention has shifted to mobility and applications, where other venues exist.
Also, many suppliers began to shift focus to smaller, more-segmented events. The U.S. cable industry has experienced a similar contraction, reducing the number of industry events over the last couple of decades, as a similar consolidation on the service provider side occurred.
At the moment, some observers might say it simply is not clear that the U.S. communications industry needs a big annual meeting on the order of SuperComm, for a variety of reasons.
Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Erin Harrison