Carrier Ethernet – the digital fuel for business agility and productivity

15 July 2014 | Stan Hubbard

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Stan Hubbard

Blog Author | MEF; Director of Communications & Research


Industry analysis suggests more than 1,000 service providers and network operators worldwide now utilise CE technologies to support high-performance Ethernet & Ethernet-enabled data services, interconnect network-enabled cloud services, underpin 4G/LTE mobile services and consumer triple play services, and meet internal networking needs.

Industry analysis suggests more than 1,000 service providers and network operators worldwide now utilise CE technologies to support high-performance Ethernet & Ethernet-enabled data services, interconnect network-enabled cloud services, underpin 4G/LTE mobile services and consumer triple play services, and meet internal networking needs.

Tens of thousands of businesses and enterprises in every industry vertical have transitioned to CE services in order to control communications costs, efficiently scale with traffic demand, improve business agility and boost productivity. According to Vertical Systems Group, global business Ethernet services bandwidth surpassed installed legacy services bandwidth in 2012 and is projected to exceed 75% of total global business bandwidth by 2017. In short, CE has literally transformed the WAN network over the past decade.

One of the principal reasons that CE has been so widely adopted is the fact that the technology has delivered extraordinary performance-price improvements that have rivalled the types of advances historically seen with microprocessors. But just as important has been the combined efforts of MEF member companies and professionals to diligently define, develop and encourage worldwide adoption of standardised CE services and technologies.

MEF-defined Carrier Ethernet 2.0 represents the state-of-the-art in terms of the industry standard for CE services and technologies today, and a growing number of service providers have embraced CE 2.0 services certification to satisfy demanding customer requirements while gaining competitive differentiation. CE 2.0 covers eight connectivity and access services and is characterised by improved manageability, carrier-to-carrier interconnection that facilities broader service deployment spanning multiple providers, and multi-class-of-service capabilities with application-oriented CoS performance objectives.

Twenty-six service providers in 12 countries now offer 74+ CE 2.0-certified services, and many more operators are in the process of services certification and/or have been building out CE 2.0-compliant services. Meanwhile, 34 network equipment companies now offer 145 devices that are CE 2.0-certified and thus capable of powering CE 2.0 services.

In addition to certifying standardised services and equipment, the MEF also has developed a very popular certification programme for CE industry professionals. More than 2,200 individuals from 257 organisations in 62 countries have now been recognised as MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professionals (MEF-CECP or MEF CECP 2.0). The number of certified professionals has nearly tripled in the past 12 months.

What is next for Carrier Ethernet?
Building on the success of CE adoption and services, technology, and professional certification programmes, the MEF is now focussed on enabling a new generation of agile and assured services that are orchestrated over more efficient, interconnected networks. The MEF will be sharing more about its industry vision and various strategic initiatives aligned with this vision later this year.


The MEF kindly asks for the input of wholesale service providers through the completion of an exclusive survey in association with Capacity magazine: Wholesale Services Market Trends, Issues & Challenges Survey 2014.

One of the biggest MEF initiatives for this year is the MEF Global Ethernet Networking 2014 (GEN14) event taking place on 17-20 November at the Gaylord National in Washington, DC. More information about the event can be found here.