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In the running

17 сентября 2007

Industry players large and small celebrate - or commiserate - as the short lists are published for this year's World Communication Awards. Champagne corks are doubtless popping across the telecoms world, as key players celebrate their inclusion in the short lists for this year's World Communication Awards.

The list of finalists for the 12 categories of the coveted awards was published this week, ending an agonising period of waiting for the close to 200 entrants from all areas of the industry.

For the first time the 2007 World Communication Awards - which will be presented at a gala dinner on 28 November at the Hilton Hotel on London's Park Lane - will include The Convergence Award, for innovative use of converged technology.

The judges whittled down 19 entries to just five, two each for U.K. incumbent BT and French counterpart Orange, and one from software vendor OnRelay, which will be hoping to spoil the party for the telcos.

Both BT Group and Orange Business Services also feature in the short list for the sought-after Best Global Operator award. Japan's NTT Communications is also there, as is virtual operator Vanco. Orange Business Services took the crown last year, but will it be able to hold on for another year?

It is clearly in with a chance, the judges noting that Orange has "strong and clear growth plans in each world region, adapted for each region/sector," and a raft of reference customers to back up its entry.

But the other finalists also impressed. BT was described as "a genuinely global business with an impressive range [of] big, demanding customers, including a number of significant recent wins," while NTT was painted as an "emerging force outside of its home region". Finally, Vanco provided "an excellent entry with good supporting information," suggesting that the competition is still wide open.

NTT, Orange and Vanco also made it to the final five in the Best Managed Service category, where they are joined by Verizon Business and Easynet.

The ever-contentious Best Customer Service award will be contested by nine short-listed companies. Once again, BT, Orange Business Services, NTTComOne, and Vanco feature, this time joined by Cable & Wireless, Easynet, mobilkom Austria, Rackspace Managed Hosting, and TTX Ltd.

It's shaping up to be a hotly fought category, with all the short listed players drawing glowing remarks from the judges.

"Another excellent story! Has the telecoms sector discovered customer care in 2007?" said one of our esteemed panel of one of the entries.

Entries for the Best Operator in a Developing Market award always make fascinating reading and this year was no exception.

Last year's winner Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan) is among the seven finalists, thanks to the fact that it is "prospering despite the massive challenges of a largely illiterate war torn country," the judges said.

But Roshan faces stiff competition. Fellow Afghan operator Afghan Wireless impressed the judges, as did JSC Kazakhtelecom. An "exceptional financial performance in a challenging home market," put Pakistan's Mobilink GSM in the running, while Afsat Communications Africa was commended for "outstanding commitment to employee development" and "consistent development and performance over many years".

Representing Latin America, Brazil's AES Communications Rio de Janeiro and Local Servicos de Telecomunicacoes were described as "quite remarkable" and "a very nice success story", respectively.

The Best New Service and Best Technology Foresight awards attracted the most entries, with 31 and 38 respectively.

With the exception of Colt Telecom's Ethernet over SDH entry, all the finalists in the Best New Service category came from the mobile sphere. A voicemail-to-text offer from SpinVox attracted the attention of the judges, as did 3 Italia's DVB-H mobile TV service, an RFID offering from the Philippines' Globe Telecom, and Orange Business Services' M2M service.

Meanwhile, the short list for Best Technology foresight comprises AT&T, Blueslice Networks, Entone, ip.access, IPWireless, Jasper Wireless, Nortel and Microsoft Connected Services Sandbox. All are hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year's winner Actelis Networks, which netted the prize for its carrier Ethernet over copper product.

Other interesting categories include Best Wholesale Carrier - which will be fought out between TeliaSonera International Carrier, iBasis, BT, AT&T, Belgacom International Carrier Services, VSNL and AES Communications Rio de Janeiro – and Best Mobile Operator. The latter sees Orange Business Services on the short list yet again (the French operator really impressed the judges this year, appearing on the short list for eight of the 12 awards), competing with T-Mobile UK, 3, Telstra and Bharti Airtel.

And lucky attendees at next month's gala dinner will also be watching with interest to see who scoops the prizes for Best Brand, Best Content Service, and Best Project Management.

Источник: Total Telecom

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