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Wholesale Ethernet services deliver inter-provider connectivity services designed to simplify and accelerate the delivery of services to off-net subscriber locations not within the footprint of the Ethernet service provider.

The MEF has defined wholesale Ethernet services for transit service providers (a service provider interconnecting other service providers) and access service providers who provide physical connectivity to subscriber locations enabling regional or global service providers to reach their off-net subscribers.

Top Market Segments

Deployment of Wholesale Ethernet Services is found in all market sectors requiring high performance with large bandwidth, low latency, and predictable responsiveness.  The Ethernet External Network-to-Network Interface (ENNI) has become the service provider interconnect of choice rapidly replacing legacy TDM interconnects such as DS1s, E1s, SONET, and SDH.


Wholesale Ethernet Services deliver first-mile access and service provider interconnections over a single integrated service and has rapidly replaced legacy TDM services and interfaces.  Ethernet Access (E-Access) Services enable an Ethernet access provider to deliver the first-mile connection between a subscriber location and an Ethernet service provider.  This eliminates the time and cost of building out the last mile connection that would be incurred by an Ethernet service.  Ethernet transit services enable Ethernet service providers to interconnect their metro or regional network without having to lease or build out long-distance fiber networks.

Most popular applications for E-Access services are:

  • First mile connectivity to off-net subscriber locations
  • Cell-site backhaull (mobile backhaul)
  • TDM access circuit replacement
  • Data Center Access

Most popular application for E-Transit services are:

  • Long haul connectivity
  • Wholesale Ethernet Inter-metro or Inter-regional connectivity


Wholesale Ethernet services provide or inter-regional connectivity

  • High bandwidth, scalable to 100Gbps and beyond
  • Uses familiar and ubiquitous Ethernet technology for service provider interconection (ENNI)
  • Predictable and low latency QoS for high performance SLAs
  • Enables faster first mile deployments using singular, standardized MEF-certified E-Access services
  • Uses common Ethernet service delivery technology for first mile access networks (E-Access) and inter-metro network (E-Transit)
  • Enables multiple services to be delivered over the same ENNI interconnecting E-Access provider of E-Transit provider

Which Service?

The E-Access service type below defined in MEF 33 was originally defined following MEF Business Ethernet services constructs such as 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. The terminology is no longer used with MEF 51 E-Access and E-Transit service types.

  • E-Access (Access network services)
    Provides the connectivity for an Ethernet Access provider to deliver first mile network connectivity for Ethernet Service providers without a local network footprint. Replaces legacy TDM circuits previously used in the access network.
    Includes point-to-point MEF 33 Access Ethernet Private Line (Access-EPL) and Access Ethernet Virtual Private Line (Access-EVPL) for port-based and VLAN-aware services, respectively
    Includes MEF 51 Access E-Line (point-to-point) which are a superset of MEF 33 Access EPL and Access EVPL and Access E-LAN (multipoint-to-multipoint)
  • E-Transit (transit network service)
    Allows the Wide Area Network locations to appear as if they are connected to the in-house or campus Local Area Network.
    Includes point-to-point MEF 51 Transit E-Line services