Carrier Ethernet

The gold standard for underlay connectivity services.

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Carrier Ethernet Services

MEF’s Carrier Ethernet standards define technology-agnostic layer-2 services that can be consumed directly by the enterprise or used between access, transit, and retail service providers for backhaul, cloud access, or multi-provider end-to-end services for seamless on-net and off-net connectivity.

Subscriber Ethernet Services

These services provide point-to-point, multipoint and rooted multipoint architectures for delivering layer-2 service for an end subscriber (e.g. an enterprise customer).

Example Use Cases

  • Dedicated Internet Access
  • Regional Health Services Network
  • Cloud Service Access

Carrier Ethernet E-Line Service

E-Line services enable point-to-point connectivity between endpoints.

diagram showing E-Line Service

Carrier Ethernet E-LAN Service

E-LAN services enable multipoint-to-multipoint connectivity.

diagram showing E-LAN service

Carrier Ethernet E-Tree Service

An E-Tree is a rooted multipoint service that enables sites with hub and spoke multipoint connectivity.

diagram showing E-Tree service


Operator Ethernet Services

These services provide point-to-point architectures that enable service providers to deliver Ethernet services across access partners and transit operators. Access and Transit E-LAN services are also defined in MEF standards.

Example Use Cases

  • Mobile (cellular) Backhaul
  • Last-mile Access
  • International Transit Service

Access E-Line Service

Access E-Line services enable point-to-point connectivity to extend a service to off-net subscriber sites.

diagram showing Access E-Line service

Transit E-Line Service

Transit E-Line services enable point-to-point connectivity to join multiple provider networks through an intermediate Carrier Ethernet network.

Transit E-Line Service diagram

Learn More about Carrier Ethernet

Educational Materials

MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet Certification Business Case for Service Providers — 2020 Mar

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet

Tags: Business Case, Certification

This document focuses on the business case for service providers to certify MEF 3.0 CE services

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MEF 3.0 Workshop – MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet Certification — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet

MEF's Carrier Ethernet certification has enabled the accelerated adoption and growth behind the $60 Billion dollar Carrier Ethernet services market by ensuring the delivered services and technology comply with the industry best-practices inherent in MEF's Carrier Ethernet standards.

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MEF 3.0 Workshop – MEF 3 0 Carrier Ethernet Services — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet

MEF 3.0 CE is the third generation of MEF-defined Carrier Ethernet services providing the highest level of performance, assurance, and agility available in the nearly $60 billion global CE services market.

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Technical Standards & SDKs

MEF 6.3 Subscriber Ethernet Service Definitions — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet
Standard Type: Service Definitions

Definitions for Subscriber Ethernet Service Types and Subscriber Ethernet Services. Subscriber Ethernet Service Types are used to create Point-to-Point, Multipoint-to-Multipoint, and Rooted-Multipoint Ethernet Services that are either Port or VLAN based.

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MEF 51.1 Operator Ethernet Service Definitions — 2018 Dec

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet
Standard Type: Service Definitions

This document specifies Operator Ethernet Services based on the Service Attributes defined in MEF 26.2. The key service constructs are the Operator Virtual Connection (OVC) and the OVC End Points at the External Interfaces (EIs) – the External Network Network Interface (ENNI) and the User Network Interface (UNI)

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MEF 10.4 Subscriber Ethernet Services Attributes — 2018 Dec

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet
Standard Type: Service Attributes

This document describes Service Attributes for Subscriber Ethernet Services provided to an Ethernet Subscriber by an Ethernet Service Provider. The Service Attributes describe behaviors observable at an Ethernet User Network Interface and from Ethernet User Network Interface to Ethernet User Network Interface.

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MEF 26.2 External Network Network Interface (ENNI) and Operator Service Attributes — 2016 Aug

Product Portfolio: Carrier Ethernet
Standard Type: Service Attributes

This document contains specifications for interconnecting Operator CENs in order to support MEF Forum Ethernet Services.

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What Can I Achieve with MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet?

Whether you are upgrading your Ethernet services to take advantage of the latest enhancements, including the ability to orchestrate the buying/selling and delivery of Ethernet services, or getting into the Ethernet services business for the first time, MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet is your standard for success.

MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet advantages:

  • Easily architect Ethernet transit services.
  • End-to-end service visibility both on- and off-net.
  • Dynamic bandwidth utilization.
  • Enhanced performance management.
  • Token-sharing best practices for efficient bandwidth usage.

Be In the Market

Engage in MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet Services Work

With major industry stakeholders from across the globe participating as members,MEF provides an excellent opportunity to engage more deeply within the market outside of traditional channels. Actively participating in CE services development work gives you the opportunity to lead initiatives that influence industry best practices, including automated business functionalities and certification. Our current initiatives are available in the MEF 3.0 CE Service Hub on the MEF Members’ Wiki.


All employees of active MEF-member companies are authorized to access MEF Members’ Wiki. Don’t have a login? Register. Not a member? Join MEF. Not sure? Contact Us.

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