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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).

What are the prerequisites of Network Foundations?
There are no formal prerequisites for Network Foundations. Students preparing for this exam should consult the examination blueprint (which is regularly updated) and identify the full domain list and weighting of the material covered on the exam. A familiarity with the concepts and terminology of the CompTIA Network+ examination is assumed. Because this exam is broadly distributed across the major domains of today’s advanced networking technologies, it is important to be conceptually familiar with these knowledge domains (in other words, the exam is not simply "CECP-lite"). The blueprint will also point to the various sources for the question items (both MEF documents and sources outside of MEF).

What is the price for the Network Foundations?
The retail price for the MEF Network Foundations certification exam is US$350.00. There is an additional charge for remote proctoring (paid to our remote proctoring provider) for those needing to take the exam without a qualified proctor present.

What is a “Concept-Level” professional certification?
Sometimes it’s best to explain by contrasting other MEF certifications with the new Network Foundations certification. As many already know, MEF produces practitioner-level IT certifications for professionals working in a particular field of networking practice. For example, our MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional certification is geared toward network practitioners, those technical professionals entrusted with the operations of carrier Ethernet-based networks and services. These examinations going deeper than identifying and explaining at an introductory level how these networks operate. As such, they are normally taken by experienced networking professionals.

Concept formation, or concept learning, refers to the development of the ability to respond to common features of categories of objects or events. Concepts are mental categories for objects, events, or ideas that have a common set of features. Concept learning encompasses learning how to discriminate and categorize things (with critical attributes). It also involves recall of instances, integration of new examples and sub-categorization. Concept formation is not simple recall, it must be constructed of learned subjects and appropriately assembled. For the Network Foundations certification exam, the credential will test the student’s understanding of key technologies (as well as their underlying enablers) that are powering today’s modern, software-driven advanced networks. The expectation is that the successful credential holder would have a comprehensive grasp of a variety of networking technologies (including SDN, NFV, LSO/orchestration, networking security) and be able to articulate their function, significance, contribution, characteristics, etc., without having to actually operate these network technologies in an actual network.

When will Network Foundations be available?
The fully-completed version of the exam, available worldwide, will be published for use on or before August 21, 2017. The exam blueprint (articulating the major domains and contents of the exams, upon which the exam questions will be based) was published on April 21, 2017.

What are the domains (subject matter categories) of Network Foundations?

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How is the Network Foundations certification being developed?
The Network Foundations certification is being developed in a rigorous manner, such that the exam will be acceptable to evaluating and certifying organizations who can mandate the exam for use in their companies. An example of this use is the U.S. Department of Defense 8570 program, which credited certain professional certifications as fulfilling mandatory job requirements and professional development obligations that DoD employees were required to fulfill.

As such, all MEF certifications will be built by strict adherence to ISO standards for technical certifications, per ISO/IEC 17024. For MEF’s process, the following activities are stipulated, as shown in the figure below. This is a rigorous process, and we are assisted in this effort by the Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) who assist MEF with respect to content, and the Alpine Testing organization, which takes this content and renders it into a proper format. This work results in an accurate and trustworthy exam that fulfills certain legal requirements.

Is there a mailing list for MEF’s Network Foundations?
Yes! To receive updates and additional information as it develops, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is the relationship between Network Foundations and the MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) certification exam?
The Network Foundations exam validates concept-level knowledge of a wide variety of networking domains, including Carrier Ethernet networks, but is not limited to only Carrier Ethernet concepts. Network Foundations is definitely NOT “CECP-Lite”, as it were. All professionals seeking certification in this new certification should consult the exam blueprint, which will be published in late April 2017. I’m an Expert in Third Network technologies; is there any way I can help develop this new certification?
Yes you can! We are working with IT professionals in a variety of technical domains (SDN, NFV, Security, LSO/Orchestration, Carrier Ethernet, and other related domains). If you are an expert and want to volunteer your expertise in various ways (helping develop or validate the exam blueprint, writing questions for the exam, participating in the beta exam, and other areas, please contact MEF’s certification director Rick Bauer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public Resources


Network Foundations certification validates individuals’ concept-level understanding of key modern networking terms, processes, and elements. Knowledge and practice domains include SDN, NFV, Connectivity Services/CE, LSO/Orchestration, and use cases in these domains.  Available now!


Networking Foundations (MEF-NF) Certification Exam

Developed by leading subject matter experts in Carrier Ethernet, SDN, NVF, orchestration, security and other industry-significant technologies, this new certification is geared toward the marketing or technical sales professional working in a support role for an organization either providing or consuming modern network services (enterprise data centers, carrier managers, network operations center, etc.). These individuals want to secure their place in a rapidly evolving network environment. The complexities and dependencies in these new networking technologies need to be adequately understood and leveraged for the success of the business.

Sales, marketing, and support personnel are discovering that in order to succeed in their career, they must be conversant in a wide variety of vendor-neutral concepts and terminology. Another audience for this certification are those networking practitioners who have limited their skills validation to vendor-specific traditional networking technologies (Cisco, Juniper, HP, etc.), and have not become familiar with network virtualization and its software-driven derivatives. They need to learn technologies like SDN, NVF, orchestration, security for virtualized networks, and other advanced, vendor-neutral technologies that are transforming the network of today and tomorrow. Increasingly, there is a game of “musical chairs” in the networking staffs of enterprise data centers and carriers, and only those professionals who can combine vendor-specific skills with vendor-neutral savvy in these new technologies will be retained.

For the millions of networking engineers and managers who manage traditional networks, these changes are driving them back to the classroom, and a massive “upskilling” is currently taking place. For those IT practitioners who are pursuing more advanced skills validation, the Network Foundations certification is the base for more advanced MEF certifications at the professional level.


Availability, Training & Pricing

The MEF Network Foundations exam (MEF-NF)  is designed to validate conceptual knowledge of Third Network  technologies and solutions.  It is comprised of 60 questions with a sit time of 80 minutes.

The MEF-NF exam is available now!

The MEF-NF exam is $350.00 for each certification attempt.  We impose a limit to 4 exam attempts within a 6 month period.  This is to encourage additional study prior to more exam attempts.  Exam re-takes are $100.00 for each certification attempt.

Education materials and training

  • Exam Blueprint - The MEF-NF exam blueprint is a study aid used for self-study and by third party trainers.
  • Training Courses - MEF relies on it's third party training providers and producers of learning content in a variety of formats (printed text as a book, materials for trainers and students, and a variety of e-learning software) to cover the domain aspects of Network Foundations.
  • Onsite Training - Provided by MEF Accredited Training Partners

Sitting for the exam

The MEF-NF is a live proctored exam given in person at specific locations approved by the MEF and MEF Accredited Training Providers.  Alternatively, the exam may be taken remotely from home or office utilizing the MEF approved proctoring service.  Additional fees may apply.


Benefits to Corporations

  • The Network Foundation exam provides the base level knowledge marketing and technical sales professionals require to support their corporate strategy
  • Increases in productivity are gained giving access to and certifying employees on MEF and industry-related definitions and standards
  • Reduce product development and sales cycle time, eliminate errors in translating required features specifications
  • Increase revenue through improved communications on how product features deliver or enhance service and equipment
  • Improve communication between internal organizational teams with a defined common language
  • Instill employee confidence with an industry-respected accreditation that recognizes valuable Carrier Ethernet, SDN, NVF, orchestration, security, knowledge and skill sets
  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Eliminate the need to learn 3rd party product details by focusing on industry-wide technology, terminology and concepts


Benefits to individuals

  • Increase opportunities for career advancement and increased earnings
  • Demonstrate knowledge, experience and competency, validated through certification, to employers and the industry
  • Join an elite set of professionals and thought leaders who have proven expertise in Carrier Ethernet
  • Demonstrate commitment to professional development, and overall dedication to the industry
  • Gain significant contacts through networking
  • Demonstrate technical prowess leading to increased on-the-job performance

Public Resources


MEF-NF-LogoThe MEF Network Foundations certification, a part of the Third Network Certification Framework, is a major concept-level exam that will debut in early Q3 of 2017. Network Foundations will be the foundation certification in a stack of professional-level certifications (see framework below) in the content and practice domains introduced at a concept level in this new certification.

In time, a full suite of professional, practitioner-level certifications in SDN/NFV, Advanced Network Security, LSO/Automation/Orchestration, in addition to the MEF-CECP, will form the knowledge validation standard for advanced networking professionals.

Network Foundations Benefits for Network Professionals

  • Increase opportunities for career advancement and increased earnings
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills and competency, validated through certification, to employers and the industry
  • Join an elite set of professionals and thought leaders who have proven expertise in the rapidly-developing ecosystem of what MEF has called “Third Networks”: SDN, NFV, LSO/Orchestration, Carrier Ethernet, etc.


  • Demonstrate commitment to professional development, and overall dedication to the industry
  • Gain significant contacts through networking
  • Demonstrate technical prowess leading to increased on-the-job performance
  • A necessary complement to vendor-specific training and certification that many network engineers already possess.

The Third Network Certification Framework

Network Foundations, like MEF-CECP certification, fits as one of the major building blocks for a framework of knowledge that is rapidly becoming essential for today’s networking professionals. Building on the essential knowledge domains of MEF’s Network Foundations exam, the transition into more challenging, more operator-oriented skills and their validation continues at the Professional Level. From Carrier Ethernet to SDN&NFV, from LSO Orchestration to Security, this suite of certifications will help prepare network admins, operators, and others for more complex technology deployments and responsibilities. More information will be provided as these certifications start to take shape. Additionally, not only will MEF recognize those network professionals who pass four of the Professional Level credentials, but will also recognize those who also earn a vendor-specific program certification (like those offered by Cisco, Juniper, etc.). The entire program is illustrated below, as well as the planned schedule for availability.

The envisioned certification framework already includes the popular MEF-CECP certification, but in 2017 MEF will begin building other professional, ISO-standard technology certifications in SDN/NFV, network orchestration, network security, and design & architecture. These certifications are key for the growth in advanced networking, and will be supported by the major standards and business development organizations in our world today. By leveraging the subject matter expertise of these organizations, MEF will create a bundle of credentials that will be the go-to validation platform for the next generation of networking professionals.


Knowledge Domains for Network Foundations

The major knowledge domains for Network Foundations are as follows:

  1. Software Defined Networking (SDN)
  2. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  3. LSO/Orchestration
  4. Carrier-Based Connectivity Services (expanded from Carrier Ethernet)
  5. The Third Network Vision (combining network solutions in the above 4 knowledge domains)

A more complete description of these domains is available here on the MEF website.

Public Resources