Asia leading telecoms market with 5G seen providing fiber-like speed

LOS ANGELES – Participants in annual telecom conference organized by industry group Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) said the Asia Pacific region is leading in the adoption on new technologies, particularly 5G which is expected to provide fiber-like connectivity to customers.

In one of the sessions at the ongoing MEF18 confab at the JW Marriott Hotel, panelists said North America and Europe are lagging behind in the deployment of cutting-edge technologies in the telecom sector.

“I honestly think it is in Asia where the dynamism of the industry is happening. When it gets deployed, 5G there could even rival fiber in terms of speed,” said one of the resource speakers.

At the same time, the telecom experts said automation and AI (artificial intelligence) could provide the answer needed by the industry that has become disparate and complicated because of various solutions and technologies that have cropped up in the last few years.

For its part, MEF is also pushing for the adoption of the MEF 3.0 standard for delivering and certifying communications services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks.

Since launching MEF 3.0 one year ago, MEF said it has made strides across all key elements of the framework, including: standardized services; LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs; services, technology, and professional certification; and community activities.

The group said service providers, technology vendors, enterprises, and industry organizations have been involved in initiatives to accelerate adoption of MEF 3.0 services that provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

“We are especially pleased by the groundbreaking releases this week of the industry’s first SD-WAN service specification, as well as LSO Sonata APIs that will enable, for the first time, automation of the potential $250+ billion market for MEF-defined services,” said Nan Chen, president of MEF.

“Going forward, MEF is focused on enabling service providers to transform their services and networks, federate on a global basis, and certify their service offerings to a global standard.”

The planned MEF 3.0 service family includes dynamic SD-WAN, Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, IP, Security-as-a-Service, and other virtualized services that will be orchestrated over programmable networks using LSO APIs. MEF has advanced standardization work across each major type of connectivity service:

• MEF 3.0 SD-WAN. MEF announced the industry’s first SD-WAN service specification. MEF is on track to ratify and publicly release its MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Definition standard in 1Q 2019. SD-WAN service standardization will enable ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services.

• MEF 3.0 CE. In May, MEF enhanced its family of MEF 3.0 CE services by publishing a specification (MEF 62) that defines a new Managed Access E-Line Service with a specific set of management and Class of Service capabilities designed to accelerate service provisioning and simplify management of services that traverse multiple operators.

• MEF 3.0 Optical Transport. In August, MEF published its first Optical Transport Services specification (MEF 63) for subscriber services that support Ethernet and Fibre Channel client protocols as well as SONET/SDH client protocols for legacy WAN services. This work paves the way for service providers to automate multi-vendor service offerings.

• MEF 3.0 IP. In April, MEF published the Subscriber IP Service Attributes Technical Specification (MEF 61) as the first in a planned series of IP specifications to describe subscriber and operator IP services. This is an important step toward the goal of enabling orchestrated IP services.

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