By Samantha Bookman
What providers are challenging the status quo in the wireline segment of the telecom industry? In this first installment of The Contenders, we look at providers that are either giving the leaders in their segment a run for their money, are setting the pace for a segment or are driving innovation forward.
(Image source: iStockPhoto)
Deciding what makes a company a contender can be difficult. The companies profiled here vary in size and strength, operate in very different segments--equipment manufacturing, network infrastructure, telecom services and so on--and on the surface appear to be unrelated. But if there's one idea that drives the growth of and migration to IP infrastructure, it's interconnectedness. As businesses look for a next-generation, unified solution to their communications needs, the products and services our selectees offer are becoming part of those solutions, one way or another, directly or indirectly.
Take Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), for example. This company dominates its market segment. However, just two years ago, Cisco's star appeared to be fading. The equipment giant has made a strong comeback at year-end 2012, however, keeping it in the category of pace-setter.
On the other hand, Clearfield is known mainly to Tier 3 providers for its unique cassette-based fiber platform. Yet it continues to innovate and expand on its signature platform, the Clearview Cassette, relying on its engineers' direct field experience to drive ideas and solutions.
Take a look at the list below of this year's selection of contenders across wireline segments. Let us know which companies you think should be on the list as well.