The Third Network for Individuals, Business, and Cloud Computing

MEF is defining Lifecycle Service Orchestration with APIs for existing network, NFV and SDN implementations enabling Agile, Assured and Orchestrated Services, Worldwide, otherwise known as “The Third Network”.

It is a characterized as a union of CE 2.0 (discussed below) and the Internet as a whole, which represents Assured QoS and Security for the former, and On-demand and Ubiquitous Access for the latter.  In other words, the concept seeks to provide the best of both words.

The MEF states the anticipated impact of the Third Network as follows:

  • Third Network as a Service for Individuals: Performance-assured network experience is delivered to millions of users enabling enormous market potential. A truly exciting prospect for all stakeholders.
  • Third Network as a Service for Businesses: Delivery of dynamic business-class network services on demand, across multi-carrier networks, initiated by end-users, cloud applications or service providers directly
  • Third Network as a Service for Cloud Consumers: Cloud service delivery will be seamless and on-demand. Automated inter-carrier service orchestration manages connectivity inside and outside the data center.

For individuals, the goal is assured performance and security, on-demand, pay as you go services available at your home, hotel and anywhere with wired or wireless coverage as per below diagram from MEF:



The Third Network for Individuals (Copyright MEF)

For businesses, the goal is to deliver dynamic business class network services on demand, across multi-carrier networks, initiated by end-users, cloud applications or service providers directly as per the below diagram from MEF:


The Third Network for Businesses (Copyright MEF)

For Cloud Computing, the goal is to deliver seamless with on-demand network services that interconnect user locations to their virtual machines or Virtual Network Functions running on blade servers inside a remote data center as indicated in the below figure from MEF:


The Third Network for Cloud Computing (Copyright MEF)

MEF realizes that the Third Network vision can only become a reality by working closely with many industry leaders and standards organizations.  Accordingly, MEF is working with groups in the key areas of SDN, NFV, Life Cycle Orchestration (LSO).  In support of this vision, MEF is also working in the general areas of Fulfillment, Control, Performance, Assurance, Usage, and Analytics.


The Mind Commerce report, The Third Network, Carrier Ethernet, and Lifecycle Orchestration, evaluates the role of Cloud Computing relative to the emerging 3rd Network, Carrier Ethernet, CE 2.0, and Lifecycle Orchestration.

This report assesses the impact of these technologies and provides forecasts for ancillary areas not addressed anywhere else. The report also includes an overview of supporting signaling technologies including SS7 for TDM networks and SIP for IP networks.



About Mind Commerce

Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
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