Q&A with CMC Networks, the First Africa-based Provider to Achieve MEF 3.0 CE Certification

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In May 2020, CMC Networks became the first provider based in Africa to be MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet (CE) certified. MEF caught up with CMC Networks’ CEO, Marisa Trisolino, and Global Innovation & Information Manager, Nico Walters, to hear about CMC’s journey to achieve certification and the windows it has opened for the global provider.

When did you obtain your MEF certification and why did the company seek it?

MT: CMC Networks obtained its MEF 3.0 CE Certification in May 2020, becoming the first—and, currently, the only—service provider based in Africa with this certification. The certification is seen as an industry-standard certification for delivering CE services. Because we provide CE services to many of the world’s Tier 1 operators, we saw it as critical to achieve. It gives our customers the reassurance that our solutions meet their requirements and are being delivered in a standardized way, irrespective of the varied regions in which we operate.

What is the value of MEF 3.0 certification?

NW: To us, the greatest value is interoperability with our customers and their networks. It has driven more business opportunities, as our customers seek to purchase services from certified service providers. It gives them assurance that the service being procured is of good quality and meets their requirements, setting aside any bespoke configurations.

How has being MEF 3.0 CE-certified changed or upgraded your overall business model?

NW: This certification has upgraded our business model largely with respect to the CE use case. Albeit, new solutions, such as SD-WAN, are driving more demand for internet products as an underlay, we still see a steady demand for CE offerings in the wholesale arena—and that is where the certification adds a significant amount of value. This certification enabled CMC to provide services to carriers that have been previously inaccessible due to their requirements of only procuring CE from certified providers.

Does CMC Networks intend to obtain MEF 3.0 certification in other service areas, like SD-WAN or SASE?

NW: Most definitely! CMC sees great value in MEF 3.0 certifications as a means of validation that our products are industry certified and that we have the expertise to deliver solutions. To that end, we aim to certify our SD-WAN offering, hopefully, this year and continue our active contribution to the new MEF standards projects, such as the MEF W117 SASE Services Definition and MEF W118 Zero Trust Framework and Service Attributes as discussed in the blog post, Why SASE is Such a Hot Area of Interest.

Leveraging its extensive global footprint and connectivity solutions, CMC Networks’ customers can extend their current service offerings and capabilities into new markets and regions.

Learn More 

Read about MEF 3.0 CE Certification.

About CMC Networks

CMC Networks is a global telecommunications carrier providing market leading networking solutions across Africa and the Middle East. CMC Networks has the most extensive network across the MEA region with over 80+ points of presence (PoPs), servicing 51 African countries, 15 PoPs in the Middle East, with a total of 110+ PoPs across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The Carlyle Group is the majority shareholder. Please visit www.cmcnetworks.net

Marisa Trisolino

Marisa Trisolino

CEO | CMC Networks

Marisa Trisolino joined CMC Networks as CEO in July 2018, after 21 successful years with AT&T. In May 2020, Marisa was selected by Capacity Media’s Power 100, as one of the most influential people in the Telecom industry, and in the same year joined the Advisory Board for DigitalInfra Africa. She strives to support Inclusion & Diversity and participated in the JA EUROPE Company Program, Leaders for a Day, and VLAJO (Flemish Young Entrepreneurs), encouraging and coaching young entrepreneurs. Marisa is currently based in Belgium, with her husband and two sons. She commutes regularly between London, Mauritius, and Johannesburg to serve CMC Networks, headquartered in Johannesburg.

Nico Walters

Nico Walters

Global Innovation & Information Manager | CMC Networks

Nico has been in the ICT industry for more than 15 years, serving in multiple roles at CMC Networks, where he is currently the Head of Innovation and Information. In this role, Nico oversees development and implementation of all CMC’s Software Defined products/services, Cloud solutions and inter-provider integration. Additionally, Nico is also responsible for CMC’s global peering & interconnect strategy. Nico is an active contributor within MEF where he currently co-edits MEF W118 Zero Trust Framework and Service Attributes, as well as contributes in various working groups developing specifications for SD-WAN, Application Security for SD-WAN, SASE and LSO Sonata.