Networks show drops telecoms, stays in Birmingham

As telecoms loses its lustre, the long-running Networks show will return to an enterprise focus and contrary to rumour, the show is not coming to London's Docklands

Rumours that the Networks show, so long an annual fixture at Birminham's NEC, would move to the London Arena next year turned out to be false. The show will be rebranded Networks for Business, and will next be held on 24 to 26 June 2003.

The show has changed its name from Networks Telecom owing to the continued downturn in the telecoms field and will re-focus on enterprise networking. Telecoms was a comparatively recent addition to the show's coverage, added to capitalise on the excitement generated by telecoms during the dot-com boom.

The show will include four sections but initial reaction on the show floor is that these are confusing. Two are network-related topics, Infrastructure Solutions (including switching and voice/data integration) and Network Solutions (including optical networks, network operating systems, e-business and computer telephony, which have been criticised as difficult to distinguish. Meanwhile an Enterprise Solutions section will cover storage, security and repeat e-business. An Application Software Solutions section seems to signal an expansion away from networks to software management and metering.

"The Networks show used to be an education for small and medium businesses," said Peter Crowcombe, marketing manager of NetScreen. "This seems to make things less clear."

However the new organisation works out, network managers can prepare themselves for another trek to Birmingham next year with, no doubt, just as many exciting products as they will have seen this year.

Networks and networking products have seen huge innovation and growth in the last few years. High bandwidth LANs and Storage Area Networks are now in common use. ZDNet UK's Networking Central keeps you up to date with the latest news and views.

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