November 28th, 2018

MEF18: The Exciting Reality of Inter-Provider Services

It’s been another transformative year in the telecom industry. Neustar recently exhibited at the MEF18 event in Los Angeles, where discussions focused on the momentum that the MEF 3.0 initiative has achieved. The MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework was released this time last year, with a charter to define, deliver and certify agile, assured and orchestrated communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks. Since that initial release, the initiative has made great strides toward its goal of automated delivery of standardized services across multiple provider networks.

Industry standards paving the way

Ordering access services can be a complex, error-prone process that too often results in service delays and unhappy customers. MEF 3.0 standards were established to give service and technology solution providers the ability to automate much of this process.

Automation and APIs

Application Programming Interface (API) standardization is a critical component in the realization of service automation across multiple providers and over multiple network technology domains. MEF recently announced they have issued Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Sonata API technical specifications and Software Development Kits (SDKs) in a developer release.

This is expected to be the impetus that drives automation of business-to-business interactions between service providers, helping them to more effectively manage the complex tasks involved with serviceability, quoting, ordering, provisioning and billing for digital services.

Progressive evidence of how the industry is moving forward with API standardization is being seen across the carrier ecosystem. In 2017, AT&T, Orange Business Services, and Colt Technology Services Group Ltd. announced a partnership that will allow them to provision services across each other’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) architectures.

In March of this year, Colt and Verizon demonstrated how two-way, intercarrier SDN orchestration via APIs is helping them make strides in real-time, cross-carrier network automation. And, just recently, Colt Technology Services’ head of Network On Demand provided one of the first glimpses into the real-world impact of API advancements, with Colt anticipating the launch of its first intercarrier Ethernet services with multiple service providers before the end of Q1 2019. 

As an MEF and TM Forum member, and developer of our own API-based solution, Neustar actively monitors API architectural developments. Neustar’s Universal Order Management solution is built to ensure our customers are able to fully reap the benefits of inter-provider orchestration of their network services. As specifications are published, Neustar will be able to test and certify that our services and technologies comply with the latest API standards.  

2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year in telecom

Neustar’s Universal Order Management solution is an API-based ordering portal that is aligned with MEF standards. It connects to all of your existing carrier-to-carrier access ordering services, including Ethernet, broadband, and even emerging carrier SD-WAN services. This helps manage the entire ordering process through a single, unified interface that streamlines your business.

With an eye toward inter-provider orchestration services being deployed in early 2019, there’s much to watch for in these coming months. Be sure to check back with us often to stay on top of the latest developments. 

 

*Anand Rathi was a co-author of this blog post. He has over 19 years of experience in the Telecom Industry, specializing in intercarrier wholesale ordering. Proficient in Product Management, Project Management, and also with a strong Software Development & Architecture background, Anand has owned management responsibility over solutions in the areas of Wholesale Ordering (Local and Access), Number Porting, and Trouble Ticketing. Anand has represented Neustar in various industry-standard organization including MEF, TM Forum, LSOG, ASOG, CLOG and LNPA.

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