Telecom Council Recognizes Top Start-Ups via SPIFFY Award Winners at Annual TC3 Conference

The Service Provider members of the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley recognized 8 young telecom companies with SPIFFY awards on September 12, 2012 at  the annual TC3: Telecom Council Carrier Connections in Sunnyvale, CA.  2012 SPIFFY nominees attended the ceremony, sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services, and were joined by over 400 telecom professionals, including 20 senior executive carrier speakers from the TC3 summit.

Criteria used for these awards included the candidate companies innovation, execution, management, and technologies.  All startups that have been invited to  present at a Telecom Council meeting have been identified as a promising  telecom company. From among these, some young companies stand out for their  innovation, market opportunity or quantifiable interest among the Council’s 25  global Service Providers including AT&T, British Telecom, DoCoMo, France  Telecom/Orange, Swisscom, Verizon, Vodafone and many other fixed and wireless  carriers from Europe, Asia, and North and South America listed on the Telecom Council website:

Members of the Service Provider Forum (SPIF) reviewed over 200 start-ups at Telecom Council meetings over the past year. Competition for these awards is stiff because all startups are screened by Telecom Council Steering Committees before they are selected to present to the SPIF or other Telecom Council meetings. Startups who present have been identified as having ideas, relevance, and traction that most appeal to our carriers from around the globe.

Over 25 carrier members voted on over 200 startup companies and the winners of the 2012 SPIFFY Awards are:

  • The Edison Award for Most Innovative Start-Up goes to Plex.T.
  • The Ground Breaker Award for Engineering Excellence goes to Expertmaker.  
  • The Graham Bell Award for Best Communication Solutions goes to Blue Jeans Network.
  • The San Andreas Award for Most Disruptive Technology goes to Bridgewave Communications.
  • The Core Award for Best Fixed Telecom Opportunity goes to Cloudscaling.
  • The Zephyr Award for Best Mobile Opportunity goes to Devicescape.
  • The Prodigy Award for the Most Successful SPiF Alumni is Ruckus Wireless.
  • The Fred & Ginger Award for Most Supportive Carrier goes to Bouygues Telecom for the active role of their Silicon Valley-based team in supporting telecom entrepreneurs. 


Of the above mentioned companies, only Ruckus Wireless and Bridgewave make telecom gear for carriers.

Ruckus Wireless participated in a panel on WiFi Offload 2.0, while Bridgewave had a demo table in the back of the room to promote its products.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by the telecommunications industry here in the Valley as the most successful SPIF alumni organization,” said Rob Mustarde, vice president of marketing for Ruckus Wireless. “Our carrier-class Wi-Fi products are delivering unique business and technology benefits to mobile operators in almost every corner of the globe. And with the newest iPhone 5 now hitting the market, the growth in subscribers’ data usage will continue at an exponential pace for the foreseeable future, which will put our solutions in even greater demand. It’s an exciting time for the entire mobile industry.”

“This award win further solidifies the support, recognition and accolades BridgeWave has received since bringing our high capacity wireless solutions to market,” said Amir Makleff, chief executive officer for BridgeWave. “BridgeWave’s continued commitment to innovation, as seen with our FlexPort and PicoHaul products, will help customers tackle 4G challenges with minimal investments, resulting in more profitable mobile data services.”

Liz Kerton, President of Telecom Council, said proudly of the 25 SPIF carriers and this year’s crop of startups, “The past year has been a great for innovation in telecom; we all applaud these winners for their contributions to the future of our industry.'”

The Telecom Council looks forward to presenting many more telecom startups to the industry in 2012 and beyond.


The 2012 SPIFFY AWARD Nominees were: 

Graham Bell Award for Best  Communication Solution
Telecom is really about helping people communicate, historically that has meant  connecting one with another, but now can mean connecting many with many, or  connecting people to machines. This award recognizes the company that advanced  the noble cause of improving telecommunications.

  • Blue Jeans Network
  • Mavenir Systems
  • Pie Digital
  • QualiSystems


Edison Award for Most Innovative Startup
Some ideas are so unusual they surprise you, but it’s a small minority of these  that are also likely to succeed. With this award, we recognize the startup that  brings the most innovative ideas, but also the ability to successfully bring  that idea to market.

  • Crowd Factory
  • Plex
  • TuneWiki
  • Vantrix


San Andreas Award for Most Disruptive Technology
This award is for the most game-changing startup to present to the Telecom  Council. It is offered to the company whose progress is most likely to disrupt  markets and change the way people do things.

  • Accumulate
  • Bridgewave
  • iKnowWare
  • Spectrum Bridge
  • Zoove


Core Award for Best Fixed Telecom Opportunity
This award recognizes the best investment opportunity within the fixed telecom  sector that we’ve seen at the SPIF Meeting in the past two years.

  • AnyFi Networks
  • Cloudscaling
  • Edgewater Networks
  • Guavus
  • Private Planet


Zephyr Award for Best Mobile Opportunity
This award recognizes the best investment opportunity within the mobile telecom  sector that we’ve seen at the SPIF Meeting in the past two years.

  • Acudora
  • Blinq
  • Devicescape
  • FeedHenry
  • Skyfire


Ground Breaker Award for Engineering Excellence
This award is offered to the company that has produced the most impressive  technological advancements. These are the firms who have invested in R&D,  and have turned the gears of progress through sweat, tenacity, and a Costco  account for Jolt and Mountain Dew.

  • Amimon
  • E-Blink
  • Expertmaker
  • Matrixx Software
  • Newfield Wireless


Prodigy Award for the Most Successful SPIF Alumni
This award is given to the pre-2011 SPIF presenting company that went on to  achieve the most notable growth, market success or exit.

  • Ruckus Wireless
  • Exalt Communications
  • Zong
  • BelAir Networks
  • LifeSize Communications 


The Fred & Ginger Award for  Most Supportive Carrier
This award allows the SPIF startup companies to choose which SPIF carrier was  overall the most responsive and supportive to the Silicon Valley entrepreneur  community.

  • AT&T
  • BT
  • Bouygues Telecom
  • Docomo
  • Vodafone

About the Telecom Council:
The Telecom Council of Silicon Valley is Where Telecom Meets Innovation. We connect the companies who are building communication networks, with the people and ideas that are creating it – by putting those companies, research, ideas, capital, and human expertise from across the globe together in the same room. Last year, The Telecom Council connected over 2,000 executives from 750 telecom companies and 25 fixed and wireless carriers across 40 meeting topics.


Author’s Note-  Forthoming TC3 Summary article:

The TC3 summary article will focus on WiFi Offload 2.0, which was the only session related to network infrastructure. The concept is to offload mobile data/video traffic from a carrier’s 3G/4G cellular network to a large WiFi hot spot network maintained by that carrier or a trusted partner.  The term “WiFi integration” was preferred to offload, as the data traffic would be automatically switched between the 3G/4G cellular newtork and carrier controlled WiFi network.  The user would have to “opt-in” to enable automatic switching from one network to another.  QoS, especially latency, might be an issue when switching from an LTE network to WiFi (which is a best effort wireless network with no bounds on latency or jitter).

Please email the author if you have any other topics you’d like covered in the TC3 Summary article:

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