MEF, TM Forum & Major Service Providers Are Standardizing LSO APIs for Agile, Assured and Orchestrated Services

AT&T, Orange, Colt, Comcast, Level 3, PCCW Global, Sparkle, Verizon, and CableLabs/Kyrio Lead Groundbreaking Effort to Create Worldwide Ecosystem of Connected Networks

Los Angeles, CA & Morristown, NJ, February, 28 2017 – MEF and TM Forum are collaborating with major service providers in a transformational initiative to standardize Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrating connectivity services across multiple networks worldwide. In work conducted at MEF, AT&T, Orange, Colt Technology Services, Comcast, Level 3, PCCW Global, Sparkle, Verizon, and CableLabs and Kyrio are leading the effort to develop a complete suite of inter-provider LSO APIs that use the MEF LSO Framework and the TM Forum Open API framework. Standardized LSO APIs are a critical step toward enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services over more automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks globally.

The inter-provider LSO API standardization work initially will apply to orchestrating widely deployed MEF-defined Carrier Ethernet services in a global market that IHS Markit estimates is worth $50+ billion. This work can be utilized in the future for orchestrated optical and IP services being defined by MEF and to advance digital ecosystem orchestration and management work being led by TM Forum.

The API standardization effort is being conducted within MEF in partnership with TM Forum, and is open to both MEF and TM Forum members. The current project revolves around the LSO Sonata reference point that deals with the management, operational, and business interactions between Ethernet service providers. The project will build upon and expand TM Forum’s Open API framework led by nine of the world’s largest service providers as well as initial API development contributions from AT&T, Orange, Colt, CableLabs, and Kyrio.

MEF and TM Forum members aim to accelerate inter-provider LSO API standardization by implementing a more agile development process, leveraging many of TM Forum’s 31 Open API specifications and underpinning Information Framework and architecture, and collaborating beyond organizational boundaries for the wider good of the industry. Project participants are planning for a software development “sprint” at the end of which the first inter-carrier LSO APIs will be implemented in late 2017.

Eight LSO Sonata API definitions are planned to be standardized. The first three APIs below are expected to be defined in the first round of the project – “LSO Sonata Release 1” – by the end of this year.

  1. Address validation
  2. Service availability
  3. Ordering
  4. Quoting
  5. Billing
  6. Assurance
  7. Testing
  8. Change management

Nan Chen, President, MEF

“MEF is delighted to host pioneering inter-provider LSO API standardization work that will help unleash the power of on-demand services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of connected networks. Our collaboration with TM Forum and major service providers is a key step toward automating the $50+ billion Carrier Ethernet services market with LSO and will be foundational for orchestrating IP and wavelength services across many provider networks as well.”

Nik Willetts, Deputy CEO, TM Forum

“Transformation of the Carrier Ethernet market is an essential building block in delivering TM Forum’s mission to ensure service providers thrive in the digital market. By leveraging our established Open API framework, digital business architecture, industry standard Information Framework and tools for end-to-end service management and orchestration, we are delighted to partner with MEF and the service provider community to accelerate the pace of industry change.”

Roman Pacewicz, Senior VP, Offer Management and Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions

“Delivering dynamic on-demand services for our customers is a priority at AT&T. The work we’re doing with MEF, TM Forum, and their members on API standardization will be critical to expanding the value of connected software-defined networking on a global basis.”

Didier Duriez, Senior VP, Orange Global Solutions for Business, Orange Business Solutions

“TM Forum and MEF members are leading the work on inter-provider open API standards. Businesses worldwide are looking for flexible, on-demand Network as a Service (NaaS) solutions that are more responsive to their needs. Orange is excited to collaborate with other industry leaders to create an ecosystem of operationally efficient connected networks that will accelerate our ability to provide these new, innovative digital services to more customers and more locations.”

Rajiv Datta, Chief Technology Officer, Colt Technology Services

“Colt believes that working with a group of like-minded industry innovators will unlock the full potential of SDN- and NFV-enabled networks through the development of inter-provider LSO APIs. Our groundbreaking trial with AT&T proved that SDN architectures of different network operators can interoperate successfully using standard APIs. Now we want to build upon that experience in collaboration with MEF and TM Forum members in order to promote the benefits of SDN and NFV across a global fabric of connected provider networks.”

Shawn Hakl, Vice President of Networking and Security Solutions, Verizon

“Service interoperability and automation via standardized interfaces are important components in driving provider agility and a better end-to-end customer experience.  The elastic E-Access API will enable on demand service provisioning. Verizon continues to support MEF LSO development in collaboration with other pioneering innovators. Verizon’s leadership of the elastic E-Access API initiative is part of this commitment.”

Travis Ewert, SVP of Global Network Software Development, Level 3

“Global enterprises need network resources with flexibility, agility and control to create order from the disruptive process of digital transformation. Level 3’s vision is to empower customers to respond to today’s changing business needs by interacting with and creating their own telecom services on demand and in real time based on a holistic view of their network. Organizations like MEF are helping to make that vision a reality by pushing for standardized control interfaces to support seamless network functions, or true network interoperability.”

Allan Langfield, Executive Director, Product Management, Comcast Business Services

“The shift to a service lifecycle supported by standards-based real-time API-driven automation is tremendously compelling as it provides significant operational efficiencies, a greatly enhanced customer experience, and opportunities for more rapid revenue realization.”

About MEF

MEF is the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world. The Third Network concept combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security of CE 2.0 networks. Third Network services provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. These new services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.

MEF leverages its global 210+ network operator and technology vendor community, builds upon the robust $80 billion Carrier Ethernet services and technology market, and provides a practical evolution to the Third Network with LSO, SDN, and NFV implementations that build upon a CE 2.0 foundation.  See for more information.

Media Contact:

Stan Hubbard
Director of Communications & Research, MEF

About TM Forum

TM Forum is the global industry association for digital business, connecting talented individuals, leading companies, and diverse ecosystems to accelerate our members’ successful digital business transformation. The collective experience and interests of our member community – comprised of tens-of-thousands of professionals within 900+ market-leading global enterprises, service providers and technology suppliers that together account for trillions of dollars in annual revenues – drives everything we do, from thought-provoking research and publications, to practical guidance, collaboration programs, tools and best practices, hands-on events, and training for business and IT leaders.

Through four key member-driven programs – Agile Business and IT, Open Digital & the Internet of Everything, Customer Centricity & Analytics and Open APIs & Digital Platforms – we provide an open environment for our members to connect and collaborate with individuals and groups from around the world to solve key challenges and rapidly innovate to deliver and monetize new services, improve business agility, partner for success, reduce cost and risk, and enhance customer value and loyalty. To accelerate your innovation efforts and join our digital journey as a valued member and collaborator, please visit

Media Contact:

Hanah Johnson
March Communications
+1 617 960 9875