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MEF’s Third Network Vision has been warmly received and expanded upon since MEF originally introduced the concept in 2014. In November 2016, MEF released a groundbreaking new white paper - “An Industry Initiative For Third Generation Network and Services“ – co-authored by ON.Lab, ONOS, OPEN-O, OpenDaylight (ODL), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), and TM Forum. The white paper incorporates broader industry perspectives to update the Third Network Vision for the evolution and transformation of network connectivity services and the networks used to deliver them.

Agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services are optimized for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world. These services provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. Third Network services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.

The white paper (1) explores business drivers for Third Network transformation, (2) describes key attributes of the Third Network, (3) explains the LSO-based framework for coordinating all of the moving parts to create Third Network services, and (4) spotlights major work areas that require industry collaboration to ensure orchestrated services operate reliably across multi-operator networks.

White paper co-authors have agreed to work together on developing generalized information models, standardized service definitions, comprehensive LSO functionality, standardized open APIs, certification programs for orchestrated services and professionals, and reference implementations for Third Network services and technologies.

Nan Chen, President, MEF
“This white paper represents a noteworthy milestone in uniting open source projects and standards organizations to deliver a common vision for Third Network services. We want to thank our partners in this collaborative effort. I am really excited about the impact that this will have in moving the industry forward.”

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF and lead author of the white paper
“Getting so many important industry players aligned on a shared vision is especially important for developing standardized open APIs that will enable orchestration of inter-provider services. Close collaboration will help us realize specifications in code more quickly, test things out in reference implementations, and provide rapid feedback for further spec development.”

Guru Parulkar, Executive Director of ONF and ON.Lab
“ON.Lab and ONF are pleased to collaborate with MEF on its Third Network. ON.Lab and ONF remain committed to building open source SDN and NFV platforms and solutions such as ONOS and CORD, and developing software-defined standards that help accelerate the adoption of SDN and NFV by network operators. We plan to offer ONOS and CORD as open reference platforms for MEF’s Third Network and help realize this vision.”

Marc Cohn, Executive Director of the OPEN-O Project
"OPEN-O is well-aligned with MEF on the need to blend SDN/legacy connectivity services orchestration with NFV MANO into an end-to-end orchestration strategy. We look forward to collaborating with MEF to adopt open source platforms to realize the LSO vision."

Neela Jacques, Executive Director of the OpenDaylight Project

“OpenDaylight is pleased to support MEF as they bring together operators, vendors, and open source projects to ensure end-to-end interoperability and performance as we re-invent the modern network. We look forward to our continued collaboration to create the Third Network and transform network connectivity services."

Kenneth Dilbeck, VP Collaboration and R&D, TM Forum

“TM Forum is happy to support and participate in multi-SDO efforts like this. TM Forum has recognized for many years that no one SDO or open group will be able to address the complexities emerging in the Digital Economy. We think it is key that efforts like this drive us toward shared ideas and goals and remove unnecessary divergence in the industry.”

Heather Kirksey, Director, OPNFV
"Collaboration across the ecosystem is key to realizing a shared vision of the 'Third Network' of agile, ubiquitous and secure network connectivity services. Open and rapid development across open source organizations and standards bodies is crucial to enabling technologies such as NFV, SDN and LSO and driving network transformation."

Download the MEF Third Network Vision white paper


Resources For Evolving To Third Network Services

MEF has published a series of white papers to help CE service providers make a smooth transition to Third Network services that are orchestrated and assured over combined physical and virtual networks.  These include: