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Rumor mill – SUPERCOMM dead (again)?

Is SUPERCOMM dead again?

I just got a “Deep Throat” style phone call that said just that.  It is not clear if SUPERCOMM will be re-organized/re-named into Yet Another Event, if USTA and TIA have (yet again) split over philosophical differences, or if someone just wants to re-brand the event because they are bored.

If the assertion is true, this would be the latest ugly saga between the big phone companies and telecom equipment manufacturers dating back nearly a decade.

After all, once upon a time, there was a successful show called SUPERCOMM held every June in Chicago.    By most accounts, the USTA would supply the keynote speakers and TIA would pay the majority of the bills through its exhibiting members.

Unfortunately, USTA and TIA couldn’t agree on how to run the show, so there was a big messy divorce and SUPERCOMM split into two shows by the different organizations.  The show run by TIA became GLOBALCOMM while the USTA tried to run its own show in Vegas in the spring, but nobody showed up.

After no shows at USTA’s show and GLOBALCOMM seeing declined attendance and exhibits — when you have to invite the ditch diggers to fill space, it is obvious –  the two,  like Heidi Fleiss and Tom Sizemore on “Celebrity Rehab,” appeared to reach an amicable agreement to get back together for SUPERCOMM.

Until, according to more word on the street, USTA unilaterally decided in April 2009 to uproot the SUPERCOMM 2009 from a June date to October — thereby pissing off numerous vendors who had already made commitments for travel, hospitality, and other arrangements.

Needless to say, if USTA and TIA have split once again, it shouldn’t be a great surprise to anyone and now leads to an interesting situation where there may or may not be a need for a telecom trade show with USTA and TIA both involved… but you’d have to be crazy to do so, given the drama history.

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