In the world of telecommunications, innovation is the unseen force that powers the ever-growing global human network. Every small step, and every giant leap—from the first morse code message sent, to the finely tuned wireless and fiber optic symphony pulsing, emanating, and sparking all around us today—comes from the minds of those able to harness that force and wield it to move humanity forward.
To honor these telecom wizards walking among us, we’ve launched our inaugural ISE Network Innovators’ Awards. Each honoree has done something remarkable. Their novel ways of thinking, brilliant ingenuity, and dedication to solving problems have resulted in innovations that could take the industry to a higher level of speed, safety, and efficiency.
These innovations could have far-reaching impacts. They could be the catalyst for new directions in technology, techniques, and workforce management. By recognizing these innovators, we acknowledge their gifts to the world and hope those of you reading this will be inspired by their story and go on to change the world with your own innovations.
The diverse set of categories of the ISE Network Innovators’ Awards program ensure that we compare apples to apples, and that no one realm of innovation is favored over another. Telecom ingenuity extends broadly across the industry and their applications serve many important functions.
The categories are:
- FTTx/Optical Networks
- Network Reliability & Maintenance/Testing/Security/Damage Prevention/Safety
- Construction Digitization/Intelligent & Autonomous Networks
- Construction & Engineering/BEAD & Middle Mile Network Prep/GIS/Edge Networks/Cost-Containment
- Network Systems & Architecture
Clearfieldis a Silver Honoree with itsSeeChange® Access Terminal and Hardened Connector System.
The SeeChange® Access Terminal and Hardened Connector System helps realize revenues quicker by simplifying numerous aspects of fiber installation including upfront planning and engineering along with a craft-friendly 100% plug and play approach.
From the judges: "This product brings plug and play into the FTTx world and will certainly make it easier for inexperienced fiber techs to install … it may also shorten fiber outage times by doing quick plug and play replacements rather than spending time splicing.”
“Investment in innovation is a founding principle at Clearfield. SeeChange® is just another example of a game changing solution that helps our customers quickly and economically build fiber broadband networks.” Paul Kmit, Technology Manager, Clearfield, Inc.
Corning Optical Communications
Corning Optical Communications is a Platinum Honoree with its Evolv® Solution with Pushlok™ Technology.
Corning’s Evolv® Terminals and drops support FTTP and 5G deployments in today’s space-constrained environments with improved aesthetics and one-handed drop installation.
From the judges: “This product truly is transformational. Not only are the cost savings, space savings, and time savings impressive. If you can really reduce the time it takes to get local government approvals, you really have reduced the key barriers to deploy.”
Corning is also a Gold Honoree with its MiniXtend® Cable with Flow Ribbon Technology.
The MiniXtend® Cable features Flow Ribbon Technology combining the flexibility of loose tube cables with the speed of ribbon splicing to help reduce installation time and cost.
From the judges:“Innovations in fiber continue to improve the installation and maintenance costs as well as improve the ease of fitting into duct and bending around corners. This product does all of that and more but with ribbonized fiber. Very impressive product!”
Emtelle is a Bronze Honoree Award Winner with its QWKlink Pre-Connectorized Solution for All Telecom Operators.
The QWKlink drop cable allows for fiber connectors of specific types—whether SC or LC APC ferrule. It is small enough to store any excess cable in a two-inch square box and eliminates the need for fiber splicing.
From the judges:“Pre-connectorizing is the way of the future … This product allows you to pre-connectorize at one or both ends, this is a differentiator. The fact that this is done in a controlled environment drives up the quality of the actual splice.”
“Emtelle is very proud to have been selected as a recipient of ISE’s Network innovators’ award. We, at Emtelle, take great pride in providing new solutions to help service providers reduce both time and costs of deploying fiber networks. We also know that Emtelle’s innovations can help provide a lower cost, and more reliable fiber pathway to those who live in underserved areas. In doing so, this both enables, and empowers future innovators by giving them greater access to the world in a way that only fiber optics can. We thank you for this award, and I would like to say, keep your eye on Emtelle … There’s much more to come!” Scot Bohaychyk, Solutions Manager, Emtelle Group
Prysmian Group is a Silver Honoree with itsSiroccoHD Microduct Cable.
This Microduct high fiber density cable helps reduce material usage, space requirements, transport and storage costs, and the size/cost of installation equipment.
From the judges: “The reduction in size with the Scirocco HD cable is impressive and ahead of most competitors. This is a great value in "CO2 equivalent" reduction from both, the cable jacket and tube reduction itself and the duct size reduction the cable will be installed in.”
Network Reliability & Maintenance/Testing/Security/Damage Prevention/Safety
EXFO is a Gold, Silver, and Bronze Honoree with its SmarTips, PXM/LXM, and D-Series OTDRs, respectively.
The company’sSmarTips fiber inspection scope adjusts to the type of connector under test, prevents threshold selection mistakes, and makes fiber inspection easier than ever.
From the judges: “This tool is a real time and mover saver. Being able to change tips with just a 1/4 turn click saves the techs the time it takes to swap out tips or change tools. Love the fact you don't need the longer more expensive tips. Another great feature is the automated threshold settings.”
EXFO’s PXM/LXM Optical Loss Test Set MPO Certifier test set helps control OPEX by significantly reducing test time for single and multimode fibers.
From the judges:“The test speed is an excellent differentiation vs other products in the market and provides clear labor cost savings for installers—if it is 10 seconds faster than the next best device it saves ~1 hour test time on a 3456f in a data center, on each end! The device functionality in a compact form factor together with excellent learning and documentation tools are an added plus.”
The D-Series OTDRs help increase operational efficiency and covers testing needs for access, PON, FTTx, metro, and last-mile environments.
From the judges: “The swap-out connector feature sets this test gear apart from its competition. This will prevent techs from making mistakes often made by swapping out the wrong connector type.”
Anritsu is a Silver Honoree with its Network Master™ Pro MT1040A.
The Network Master™ Pro MT1040A transport tester is a single-instrument solution that supports 10G to 400G Ethernet installation and maintenance (I&M). It is the world's smallest class portable 400G analyzer and has a full range of built-in test functions to help lighten mobile operators' workloads.
From the judges: “This is a market leading instrument. The broad capabilities across network protocols and speeds seems unmatched and the compact form factor is an additional benefit.”
Construction Digitization/Intelligent & Autonomous Networks
3-GIS as a Bronze Honoree with their CAD network management solution.
3-GIS’s CAD network management solution optimizes workflow and helps expedite time to revenue by helping customers know where their fiber network assets are located and how they interact.
From the judges:“Fiber network planning and managing are crucial for a successful FTTH build. Reducing the cost with a modern tool that is GIS based is clear.”
The Gold Honoree in this category is IQGeo’s Network Manager Telecom.
IQGeo’s geospatial software solution provides an intelligent digital twin of fiber operators’ physical network assets to support their unique and complex network architectures.
From the judges: “Fiber network planning and managing are crucial for a successful FTTH build. Reducing the cost with a modern tool is clear … Love the single-platform approach.”
“At IQGeo, we work hard to create and deploy software that plays a strategic role in the rollout of fiber networks across the country and the ISE Network Innovator’s Award is really special for us. We are committed to our mission of ‘Building better networks’ for communities and businesses and this recognition from ISE for our achievements is something we will be proud to share with our entire team.” Steve Tongish, CMO, IQGeo
Construction & Engineering/BEAD & Middle Mile Network Prep/GIS/Edge Networks/Cost-Containment
In this category, VETRO is our Bronze Honoree.
VETRO’sFiberMap® is a comprehensive cloud-based platform that creates a collaborative environment to effectively plan, design, construct, and manage fiber networks, allowing them to capitalize on new business opportunities.
From the judges:“This product is a dream for those that manage/engineer fiber networks. Its accessibility helps with engineers working out in the field. The tracking mechanism is helpful in understanding why people made different changes to the network. It certainly creates time savings for both the people engineering the network and for those monitoring and doing fiber restoration on a network.”
Network Systems & Architecture
Amphenol Network Solutions
Amphenol’s LiNC™ Panel is an innovative approach to managing multi-fiber networks. It is a rapid deployment and high-density panel with integrated trunk spools, meaning that it can pay out fiber cable as needed, and it has up to four 12f/24f MPO breakout modules integrated, reaching a density of 48 SC or 96 LC breakout ports.
From the judges:“Density and ease of fiber access are the key metrics for panels in data centers/central offices and this product provides competitive attributes.”
“I am very pleased to be accepting this award on behalf of Amphenol Network Solutions, and being honored by ISE for the LiNC Panel’s innovative features is an accomplishment we are proud of. With its integrated trunk spools, the LiNC is more than just a new fiber panel. It represents our unwavering commitment to providing exceptional value to our customers and partners, by making it easier to manage their networks. The LiNC panel has been an asset to multiple customers already, and with this recognition from ISE, we are primed to continue pushing the limits of network solutions.” Brad VanBuskirk, Amphenol Network Solutions