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Announcing MEF 3.0

MEF 3.0 is a Transformational Global Services Framework for defining, delivering, and certifying agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks. MEF 3.0 services empower users with the dynamic performance and security required to thrive in the digital economy.

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The standards environment has transformed to one where Open Source software development forms an integral part of the lifecycle of a standard. It is now essential to bridge between the work of standards development organizations and the newer Open Source projects to ensure alignment of the solutions developed in Open Source, and the underlying standards requirements. MEF's OpenLSO and OpenCS initiatives are the frameworks that enable convergence on standard requirements to create robust and interoperable Open Source solutions.

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The MEF is the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. Third Network services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks globally powered by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.

The MEF's mission is to accelerate the worldwide...

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MEF is the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world.

MEF in the News

We spotlight new, hot items of interest related to MEF 3.0, Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO), and work taking place on Open Initiatives.


The MEF Technical & Operations Committee has published 55 technical specifications and implementation agreements to effect standardization, interoperability and accelerate...


The MEF's Professional Certification program identifies the industry's leading professionals and showcases expertise and excellence in technological knowledge and ...


The MEF Services Certification Program enables service providers to certify that their Carrier Ethernet services comply with the highest industry standards


The MEF Equipment Certification Program enables network equipment manufacturers to certify that their Carrier Ethernet products comply with the relevant MEF specifications...


MEF hosts webinars on a variety of topics related to its Third Network vision, LSO, SDN and NFV.


Our Seminars focus on exciting MEF-led industry initiatives to build a global ecosystem of connected networks supporting orchestration of dynamic services ...


MEF is please to host the MEF18 global networking event, 29 October - 1 November 2018, Los Angeles, CA USA...

Winning Strategies for Preparing MEF 2017 Award Submissions

Winning Strategies for Preparing MEF 2017 Award Submissions

The MEF 2017 Awards program is open for entries until September 13, 2017. This prestigious program recognizes excellence in the Third Network and Carrier Ethernet community that creates innovative solutions optimized for the digital economy and hyper-connected world. This webinar will cover the 40 MEF award categories, important dates, how to use the awards submissions portal, and tips for writing concise, compelling submissions.

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An Industry Initiative for Third Generation Network and Services

An Industry Initiative for Third Generation Network and Services

This paper describes an industry vision for the evolution and transformation of network connectivity services and the networks used to deliver them. The MEF refers to this vision as the “Third Network” where the Third Network combines the on-demand agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security assurances of today’s business grade networks (i.e.: Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and MPLS).

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Orlando, Florida USA, 13-16 November 2017

Orlando, Florida USA, 13-16 November 2017

MEF announces that it will be hosting the MEF17 (www.MEF17.com) global networking event, 13-16 November 2017, at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort in Orlando, Florida USA. With a target audience of 1,000+ attendees from 275+ companies and 35+ countries, MEF17 is the world’s premier networking opportunity for executives and other senior service and technology professionals who want to keep on top of the latest innovations that are reshaping the communications landscape.

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Specifications published by MEF are intended for general distribution to the public and may be downloaded from this site and reproduced without charge.

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Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO): Reference Architecture and Framework

Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO): Reference Architecture and Framework

LSO is an agile approach to streamlining and automating the service lifecycle in a sustainable fashion for coordinated management and control across all network domains responsible for delivering an end-to-end Connectivity Service (e.g., Carrier Ethernet, IP VPN, MPLS, etc.). This document describes a Reference Architecture and Framework for orchestrating the service lifecycle.

Interface Profile Specification – Service Configuration and Activation

Interface Profile Specification – Service Configuration and Activation

This Interface Profile Specification specifies Legato Management Interface in support of MEF 6.2 Services and is a realization of relevant classes from MEF 7.3 Information Model. The LEGATO_SCA Interface is for use at a Service Orchestrator Function for interfacing with Business Applications as described in MEF LSO RA and process for Service Configuration & Activation.

Ethernet Ordering Technical Specification - Business Requirements and Use Cases

Ethernet Ordering Technical Specification - Business Requirements and Use Cases

This document represents the cumulative work between MEF and ATIS Ordering and Billing Forum (OBF) to identify the common ordering attributes and processes needed to support inter-carrier Product Ordering of Ethernet Services worldwide. This document supports the requirements defined in the MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Reference Architecture and Framework (MEF 55, LSO RA) requirements for Ordering over the Sonata interface (Service Provider <-> Partner interactions).

The MEF spearheaded the creation of a $50+ billion market for Carrier Ethernet Services.  Ethernet now dominates the WAN and has been one of the fastest growing segments of the data service portfolios over the past decade.

Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) is a ubiquitous, standardized, carrier-class Service and Network defined by five attributes that distinguish it from familiar LAN-based Ethernet. Carrier Ethernet 2.0 networks and services enable multiple classes of service (Multi-CoS) and manageability over interconnected provider networks.

In recent years, MEF has focused on accelerating worldwide deployment and interconnection of CE 2.0 networks to create a firm foundation for Third Network services. As of today, there are now 77+ service providers who offer CE 2.0 certified services, and much more are in the pipeline. 


The Class of Service extensions of CE 2.0 standardizes performance objectives across a variety of geographic “Performance Tiers” and applications.  This results in improved QoS and optimizes efficiency, especially when utilizing the MEF’s VLAN-based services. It is not the support of multiple classes of service itself which is new. Rather, it is the performance objectives for each service class defined in the specification. This provides the knowledge of what performance you can expect for each class supported.


Interconnected refers to the standardized exchange of Carrier Ethernet traffic between providers and for eventual delivery in the Access network utilizing the E-Access/E-Transit Services types while preserving the attributes of the service. This allows providers to engineer multiple interconnected networks as a single network from the user’s perspective, with a single SLA.


New management functions standardize fault management and performance monitoring at levels not previously possible for services delivered across multiple providers. This enables sectionalization of faults down to individual virtual connections.

This explains why we term the characteristics of CE 2.0 as “Multi-CoS, Managed, Interconnected”

Future of Carrier Ethernet

For orchestrated services to evolve and work over multiple operator networks, it is important for CE 2.0 providers to not behave as independent islands but instead to be integrated into a seamless, scalable connectivity fabric cutting across geographic regions. MEF has advanced important initiatives like the Ethernet Interconnection Points Project (MEF 54) to ensure alignment of service parameters and therefore streamline deployment of fully-featured interconnections between service providers. 

MEF also has taken a market-leading role in showing how CE 2.0 services can be implemented with NFV and SDN by publishing several white papers on these topics.

A key benefit of Carrier Ethernet is its ability to provide consistent, cost-efficient, high-performance services delivered to use connected over the widest variety of access networks in any location. The source of this featured is the layered services architecture, shown on the right.

Data moves from UNI to UNI across "the network" with a layered architecture. When traffic moves between ETH domains it does so at the TRAN layer. This allows Carrier Ethernet service frames to be agnostic to the networks that it traverses.


  • Service Providers
    Enables local solutions based in existing deployed access transport solutions and provides painless migration from legacy to high speed last mile technologies
  • For the Business users
    Removes isolation of remote branches that have specific access technology constraints on the connections.
  • For Equipment Manufacturers
    encourages a wide variety of existing and new technology solutions
    Supported Technologies: Ethernet Over Direct Fiber, WDM, PON HFC (Coax & Fiber), SONET/SDH, Bonded Copper, TDM, Ethernet Over SONET/SDH Ethernet Over Packet Microwaves


This new MEF committee was formed with the goal to "define, streamline & standardize processes for buying, selling, delivering and operating MEF-defined services." Initially it will deal with these key issues:

  • Qualification of Providers Wholesale Partner On-Boarding
  • Service Life-Cycle
  • Liaison with other industry organizations

The work of the Service Operations Committee is specifically aimed at those Carrier Ethernet professionals engaged in the various aspects of the operational lifecycle of MEF-defined Carrier Ethernet services.

Intended Impact

  • For Retail Providers
    Scalability of CE Service Operations yielding shorter time to revenue and at reduced cost
  • For Wholesale Providers
    Faster service initiation and qualification, especially when implementing simple E-Access services
  • For Enterprise Users
    Faster time to service for rich CE functionality delivered with the simplicity of a TDM order

Carrier Ethernet Business services are offered in the form of 200+ MEF certified services in a variety of different brand names by service providers, worldwide. Many are simply known as Business Ethernet Services by Enterprises. What they have in common is the ability to deliver high performance, predictable QoS, low latency services over the broadest range of physical access technologies.

Top Market Sectors

Deployment of Business Ethernet Services is found in all market sectors especially those requiring high performance with large bandwidth, low latency and predictable responsiveness. Top sectors are:

  • Finance, Healthcare, Education, Government, IT, Media, Retail, Real Estate, Legal, etc.


Most popular applications are:

  • Internet access
  • Site-to-site access
  • TDM Private Line replacement
  • Data Center Interconnect
  • Date Center Access


Business Ethernet services provide the following benefits:

  • High bandwidth, scalable to 100Gbps and beyond
  • Uses familiar and ubiquitous Ethernet technology well known by IT staff
  • Predictable and low latency QoS for high performance networked applications



Which Service?

MEF service types below are defined to be simple port-based “private” services or VLAN-aware “virtual-private” services where the former is a single service is delivered at a single port called a User-to-Network Interface (UNI) and the latter enables multiple services to be delivered at a UNI.

  • E-Line (point-to-point service type)
    Provides the simplest form of connectivity and is the most popular service for providing Internet access and site-to-site connectivity.
    Services consist of Ethernet Private Line (EPL) and Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) for port-based and VLAN-aware services, respectively
  • E-LAN (multipoint-to-multipoint service type)
    Allows the Wide Area Network locations to appear as if they are connected to the in-house or campus Local Area Network.
    Services consist of Ethernet Private LAN (EP-LAN) and Ethernet Virtual Private LAN (EVP-LAN) for port-based and VLAN-aware services, respectively
  • E-Tree (rooted multipoint service type)
    Provides traffic segmentation ideal for applications where remote locations are required to communicate to a central location but not to each other such as multi-tenant cloud-based applications.
    Services consist of Ethernet Private Tree (EP-Tree) and Ethernet Virtual Private Tree (EVP-Tree) for port-based and VLAN-aware services, respectively

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