Metro Connect USA 2020

Nobu Hotel Eden Roc
Miami, Florida

February 10-12, 2020

Attendees: 300 Companies; 850+ Senior-level Attendees
Exhibitors/Sponsors: 35
Speakers: 53

Calysto’s Take on Metro Connect USA:

Metro Connect USA is a premier, must-attend event for senior-level executives in the U.S. metro telecom market.  It is a large centralized gathering of 850+ top professionals from 300 companies, with more than half of attendees being C-level, presidents and vice presidents, and nearly one-third director-level. With this many Thought Leaders and subject matter experts under one roof—and a wide range of networking opportunities—it’s a given that those attending will gain valuable insights and an insider’s perspective of this growing market. Key themes included emerging trends and challenges in the areas of 5G and small cells, data centers, fiber, colocation, automation, AI and more.

As a backdrop to the show, which was again held at the Nobu Eden Roc in Miami, was the approval by a federal judge to allow the proposed Sprint-T-Mobile merger to move forward. Both companies had a presence at Metro Connect through their wholesale groups.

Calysto’s Show Overview:

Metro Connect USA, in its 19th year, has become a well-established gathering of C-level executives in the North American communications infrastructure industry who deal specifically with metro-area products or services.

The vast majority (81%) of attendees are director-level or above, representing carriers, data center operators, mobile operators, fiber broadband providers, cable system companies, cloud service providers, and tower companies, along with related finance, VC and legal firms.

Metro Connect USA has evolved into a three-day event that includes keynotes, panel discussions, case studies and plenty of networking opportunities. Day One featured an invitation-only Metro Forum dedicated solely to the network infrastructure community. Discussions focused on preparing for the consumer demands of the future, indirect channel partner and recurring revenue models, and the pros and cons of different fiber connectivity options.

Day Two and Three took all attendees into a deep dive about every facet of the sector—from network architectures to revenue channels to service delivery. In one CEO panel, Everstream CEO Brett Lindsey joined colleagues to provide their takes on the state of the fiber industry, the demands 5G will place on the network, the status of fiber densification efforts in metro markets, and how the fiber infrastructure can be adapted to facilitate future demands from automation and innovation.

Conference sessions this year—delivered by panelists in their comfy white ultra-high-back armchairs—covered the current metro fiber landscape, the small cell opportunity and wireless network densification. As in recent years, 5G was a central theme, with plenty of discussion around preparing for network demands, FCC initiatives and regulatory issues that affect 5G adoption.

And, while these in-depth discussions about today’s technologies, services and business models have great value, speakers also covered the broader, longer-term view. Where is the industry going? What are the opportunities from new technologies like Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) for this sector? How should an organization prepare for the demands of the future to ensure continued growth?

The Buzz:

The metro fiber vision for 2020 and beyond was a key theme this year, as businesses in this industry must be prepared for the network demands of 5G and other high-bandwidth services if they hope to remain competitive. Discussions centered around what is driving the densification of fiber networks, differences in deploying fiber for consumer vs. commercial customers and the importance of AI-driven automation tools to help improve operational efficiency and reduce overhead.

There were a handful of press releases issued around the show, mainly highlighting sessions and panels:

Metro Connect USA 2020 Case Study Presentation to Discuss Emerging Virginia Beach Opportunity

Q&A with Laura Fazio, Head of TMT Banking at Santander

IND-DCA to Host Panel at Metro Connect USA 2020

Everstream CEO Brett Lindsey to Speak at Metro Connect USA

Up Next:

Metro Connect Europe takes place May 12-13, 2020, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Dates for Metro Connect USA 2021 are not yet confirmed but the event will likely be in January or February.

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