Spring 2021 - Optical Connections Magazine


In common with most conferences and expo’s last year, ECOC 2020 went virtual, but the move online made little difference to the success of the world’s biggest trade show dedicated to the fibre optics industry. As well as the very popular features such as Market Focus, the Training Zone and the FTTx Zone, new for 2020 were the Product Focus and the ECOC Awards, celebrating 25 years of the iconic expo. Optical Connections editor Peter Dykes looks back at some of the show’s highlights. ECOC 2020, 6 TH - 10 TH DECEMBER A VIRTUAL SUCCESS

THE CONFERENCE ECOC 2020 ran from 6th – 10th December 2020, and was the 46th

TRAINING ZONE It was business as usual in the training Zone, with a mixture of practical sessions and expert advice. Once again, visitors were offered the chance to cover some of the key techniques of fibre optic testing and fusion splicing, albeit virtually. Run in conjunction with CTTS, visitors were able to see first-hand the expert training team bring their years of industry experience to ECOC to share their knowledge. With one- to-one support, visitors were able to ask questions and get advice and take away new skills back to their workplaces. FTTX CENTRE The FTTx Centre, created in association with CTTS Training, brought together the very latest fibre to the ‘x’ technologies, each focusing on a specific area of fibre, showcasing a range of products in a specially-designed feature area of the website. There were also demonstrations of air blown fibre technology and Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (GEPON), fibre blowing, microduct calibration and testing, fibre splicing and activation testing, as well as explanations and demonstrations of key ISP and OSP equipment deployed in the modern FTTH networks. ECOC AWARDS To celebrate 25 years of ECOC and the return to the exhibition’s spiritual home in Brussels, this year’s show featured the ECOC Market Focus Awards in conjunction with Optical Connections. The awards celebrated the significant achievements that have been made in advancing the business of optical communications, transport, networking, fibre-based products, photonic integration circuits and related developments.

to run for an extra day, due to demand. Market Focus featured another huge line-up, with 31 presentations from some of the top names in the industry, joined online live by 1,879 attendees across the event. The newly introduced Product Focus sessions were viewed by 959 attendees. In all, over 550,000 page views were recorded across the whole event. Emma Harvey, ECOC expo’s commercial director commented, “Moving such a popular and well-attended event online was quite a challenge, but I’m delighted with the result. I think the success of the virtual ECOC 2020 underlines the importance of the event for the entire fibre optic industry.” Apart from the virtual networking opportunities, delegates were able to access online booths, book meetings and private product demonstrations with exhibitors and join workshops in the Training and FTTx zones.

iteration of the conference - an indication of the stability and the attractiveness of this conference as one of the world’s major events in the field. As in the past, the 2020 event continued to fulfil its role of providing a prime forum for new developments and research in optical communication techniques and networks. The virtual conference took place online and consisted of a set of high-level plenary speakers, tutorials, invited papers, workshops, symposia, and most importantly, parallel sessions with industry contributions, technical papers, demonstrations and posters. The programme highlighted new breakthroughs in the field of optical communications in different areas such as fibres, fibre devices and amplifiers, waveguide and optoelectronic devices, subsystems and network elements for optical networks, transmission systems, backbone and core networks, access and local area networks. As has been the case in all even years, a CLEO Focus Meeting was incorporated within the ECOC 2020 programme. The conference also hosted several initiatives including workshops, demo-sessions and events which focussed on and highlighted the importance of the Horizon 2020 programme in the fields covered by ECOC. THE EXPO Running alongside the conference, the ECOC 2020 expo was a success by any measure. The show attracted 253 exhibiting companies and 7,243 attendees from over 80 countries. The virtual event was also extended to 10th December

MARKET FOCUS In its 15th year, Market Focus again proved to be one of the main attractions at ECOC 2020 and a popular platform to gain

industry knowledge and insight into the latest technologies available. The 2020 event featured a full speaker line up, covering everything from datacentres, photonics integrations and digital silicon photonics to fibre access, service and content provision, optical transmission, transportation sensing and 5G delivered by industry professionals. Market Focus, sponsored by Inphi, showcased the very latest news and developments from leading organisations within the fibre optics community.


Q1 2021


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