LSO Sonata

Frictionless inter-provider commerce.


LSO Sonata Interface Reference Point

LSO Sonata is the Interface Reference Point between the business applications’ layers of federated service providers who connect with one another to provide access or transit services for a service provider’s end subscriber.

Business Applications’ Layer Interface Between Providers

Diagram showing Sonata API

MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata Frequently Asked Questions

The communications industry is in the midst of a multi-year transformation to dynamic, assured, and certified services across a global federation of automated networks, as envisioned in the MEF 3.0 framework. With each day, consensus builds that service providers must become more cloud-like and automated to deliver more powerful networking solutions with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

It is not enough for providers to offer dynamic connectivity and virtualized services over just their own networks (on-net). Providers must also support customer locations off-net in an automated fashion enabling them to transition to being integral players in a worldwide business federation of cloud-like networks that support standardized dynamic services across multiple operators.

To realize this vision, MEF has advanced initiatives related to a full family of standardized MEF 3.0 services – including Carrier Ethernet, SD-WAN, Optical Transport, and IP – as well as standardized MEF 3.0 LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Sonata APIs that are foundational to orchestrating these services across federated networks.

MEF is standardizing LSO Sonata APIs as part of a comprehensive effort to enable service automation across multiple providers and network technology domains. LSO Sonata APIs relate to the interface reference point within the LSO Reference Architecture that supports automated business-to-business interactions between service providers. LSO Sonata APIs combine product-agnostic TM Forum Open APIs with MEF 3.0 service definitions. The full suite of available and planned LSO Sonata APIs address all the phases of the lifecycle including pre-order (address validation, site queries, product offering qualification and quote), ordering, inventory, trouble ticketing, and billing.

Consider the case of a large enterprise customer with data centers and branch offices located around the world. This customer is looking for a service provider to provide connectivity to all their locations. No single service provider has facilities to reach all customer locations. Typically, a service provider can reach some of the locations (on-net locations) but must work with a set of partners to reach the other locations (off-net locations).

The interaction today between service providers and partners to deliver services to a single customer is predominantly manual – involving people, emails, negotiations, etc., resulting in long time periods and costs to set up required connectivity. Accelerating these processes through automation provides cost savings and greater business value to the end customer. It also removes much of the error potential inherent in manual processes.

With hundreds of service providers and hundreds of partners in the world, it would be prohibitively expensive to implement custom automation for each service provider – partner pair. MEF’s LSO Sonata APIs provide an industry standard so that a service provider (buyer) may implement these APIs and automatically work with all partners. Similarly, a partner (seller) may implement these APIs, enabling automation with all their partner service providers.

Implementation of LSO Sonata APIs enables service providers to participate in an emerging global federation with frictionless commerce. Combining MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs with certified MEF 3.0 CE services offers a host of potential benefits, including:

  • On-demand/dynamic inter-provider services optimized for digital transformation
  • Automated ordering and provisioning
  • Accelerated service delivery with near-instantaneous cycle times
  • Faster time to revenue
  • Additional revenue from new orders due to improved customer experience
  • New revenue from multi-provider on-demand/dynamic services
  • Reduced operational expenses
  • Improved productivity

Automating inter-provider services with MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs enables providers to rapidly deliver high-performance/on-demand data services that are available beyond the network footprint of any individual operator. Participation in the global federation creates an opportunity to provide higher margin, highly differentiated services that leave behind commoditized, low-margin fixed-bandwidth services.

More than 50 service providers around the world – including AT&T, Colt, PCCW Global, Sparkle, Orange, Tata, Verizon, CenturyLink, and others – are at various stages of evaluation, development, demonstration, and production-readiness of LSO Sonata APIs. Furthermore, MEF and TM Forum have formally aligned their collaboration with respect to LSO Sonata API and TM Forum Open API standards work, to bring consistency and ease-of-use to standardized APIs for inter-provider services.

A number of companies involved in both MEF and in the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum have supported LSO Sonata API development in order to advance frictionless commerce across communications providers worldwide. MEF looks forward to closer collaboration with GLF members in the months ahead to advance our common goals.

Numerous technology companies also have contributed to or publicly supported development and implementation of LSO Sonata APIs.

In June 2020, MEF announced that eight leading service providers are on track to be production-ready in 2Q 2020 for deploying MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs to automate ordering of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet Access E-Line services. Of this pioneering group, five already have implemented LSO Sonata APIs in production environments and three expect to be ready for deployment before the end of Q2 2020. Multiple other service providers have informed MEF that they intend to implement LSO Sonata APIs in the second half of 2020.

The eight service providers and one multi-national enterprise who have either implemented or expect to be production-ready with LSO Sonata APIs by the end of June 2020 include:

  • AT&T
  • Bestel
  • Bloomberg
  • Colt Technology Services
  • HGC Global Communications
  • Infonas
  • PCCW Global
  • Sparkle
  • Telefónica International Wholesale Services

In July 2020, MEF made available LSO Sonata SDK (Software Development Kit) Release Candidate 5 with APIs for serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering. Downloadable from the MEF public GitHub, the SDK includes API and product payload specifications as well as other artifacts and tools that enable a developer to rapidly build out the APIs within their business systems.

MEF currently is on track to make available an updated LSO Sonata SDK as part of the major “Aretha” release in December 2020. Companies interested in implementing LSO Sonata APIs and learning about deliverables in the upcoming SDK are encouraged to join the SDK Community on GitHub by going to our Contact Us page.

MEF intends to continually enhance standards related to LSO Sonata APIs for serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering while also advancing standards work related to LSO Sonata APIs for trouble ticketing and billing.

While initial LSO Sonata API work relates to orchestration of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services, expected further advancements will support the full range of MEF 3.0 services – also including Optical Transport, IP, SD-WAN, etc. – without changing the basic API structure itself thanks to the polymorphic approach used in collaboration with TM Forum.

MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata certification enables buyers and sellers of wholesale MEF 3.0 services to validate that the full suite of their APIs used for inter-provider business transactions comply with MEF standards. The certification program will help companies develop, test, and certify LSO Sonata APIs as they are released.

MEF recently completed a pilot LSO Sonata certification program related to the orchestration of Ethernet Access services. Stay tuned for more details as MEF evolves the program.

As noted above, LSO Sonata APIs combine product-agnostic TM Forum Open APIs with MEF 3.0 service definitions. The collaboration effectively secures a service provider’s investment in both MEF and TM Forum while delivering an accelerated time-to-market and time-to-revenue.

Contribution to the LSO Sonata work is welcomed. Participation is restricted to active MEF member companies and their staff. Need more details? Contact Us.

What Can I Achieve with LSO Sonata APIs?

Starting first with MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services, and later for all MEF 3.0 services, LSO Sonata APIs drive frictionless inter-provider business processes and commercial interactions, resulting in faster service delivery for off-net subscriber locations.

MEF LSO Sonata API advantages:

  • Accelerated inter-provider service provisioning.
  • Enhanced enterprise customer experience.
  • Consistent, high-performance, service end-to-end.
  • Faster time-to-revenue for service providers.
  • New revenue from on-demand/dynamic services.

Learn More about LSO Sonata

Educational Materials

The Case for Standardized and Automated Inter-Provider Business Interface — 2020 Feb

Also See: Business and Operational Aspects of Implementing LSO Sonata

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet, LSO Sonata

This paper is aimed at those decision makers within ICT-SPs (Information and Communications Technologies Service Providers including traditional telcos, MSOs, MNOs, cloud operators and other entities involved in wholesale supply of data services) and their wholesale data services partners that are discussing adoption of standardized and automated inter-provider business interfaces.

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Business and Operational Aspects of Implementing LSO Sonata — 2020 Feb

Also See: The Case for Standardized and Automated Inter-Provider Business Interface

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet, LSO Sonata

This White Paper is aimed at service providers that have made a decision to create a standardized zero-touch/automated inter-provider commercial and business interface based on MEF’s extensive LSO Sonata APIs and underlying standards.

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MEF 3.0 Workshop – Inter-Provider Automation – LSO Sonata Roadmap & Use Cases — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: LSO Sonata

LSO Sonata is the corner-stone effort of inter-provider service automation, enabling service provider partners to use automation to manage their service-oriented business functions, from serviceability to order. Initial service automation is focused on MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services, delivering increased business velocity for the service provider and its enterprise customers.

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MEF 3.0 Workshop – MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata Certification — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: LSO Sonata

MEF LSO Sonata Certification will enable the verification and resulting business velocity to inter-provider service automation by establishing and validating adherence to the LSO Sonata API standards.

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Technical Standards & SDKs

LSO Sonata SDK Release Candidate 5 — 2020 Jul

Product Portfolio: LSO Sonata

This SDK release aligns the API schemas and definitions for Serviceability (Address Validation, Site Queries, Product Offering Qualification) and Product Inventory to the latest versions of MEF 79 and MEF 81 Draft Standards.

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What the industry is saying about LSO Sonata

Be In the Market

Engage in Positioning LSO Sonata for the Marketplace

Major service providers have implemented LSO Sonata to automate ordering MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet Access E-Line services. The LSO Sonata SDK is continually evolving and expanding to include all aspects of business-to-business interaction between providers for service automation. As a MEF member, you can help lead the market in adopting service automation. Find the current project work in the MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata Hub on the MEF Members’ Wiki.


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