“5G is an Exciting World of New Services”: MEF


As the telecoms community is looking up towards 5G as a way to evolve their networks, it is going to open up new opportunities for new services and having the right service orchestration strategy will be very important to create winners in this space.

Dan Pitt, Senior Vice President, MEF interacted with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com on the sidelines of MEF18 – in Los Angeles, about how MEF is looking at the 5G opportunity and why service orchestration is critical for operators.

What is the roadmap that MEF has towards 5G?

Our approach to 5G is really just an extension to what we are doing with MEF 3.0 already and our strategy is to watch as the 5G market develops, and as our members bring us requirements to which APIs extend first.

The service orchestration framework is not going to have to change, but some of the attributes of the APIs will change.

Service orchestration might have to take into account performance requirements, our intent based application interfaces, may have to augmented for specific application requirements. I am thinking here of the future industrial IoT requirements with the lowest of latencies.

I do expect that much of what we do will apply quite directly without change, to the increased need for transport in 5G as the bandwidth goes higher and the density increases.

Are there any engagements that MEF is having on the operator side when it comes to 5G?

We have a number of discussions going on about 5G with the most interested parties – some vendors and some operators. We cannot share any names as of now.

Why do you think 5G is an exciting space?

5G – is an Exiting World of New Services.

We look at 5G as a great enabler to drive new services and these new services will be a combination of enterprise or industrial applications and consumer services. We believe in helping our members and the industry grow their market and grow their revenues. So when I look at 5G, I look at where it can help operators grow their business.

We believe the framework of service orchestration for automated assured services is here for the long term. 5G is another example of an end-point where those services could originate or terminate, and for the variety of services that we are going to see. We start with the things that we are familiar with – Carrier Ethernet, Layer 1, Layer 3, and now SD-WAN.

And most importantly, what makes 5G exciting, is the prospect of what it can do.

What could be some of big innovations that can come out from MEF focus towards 5G?

I think some of the big innovations will come some of the new applications involving healthcare, energy, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture.

And for operators to be able to reach these markets with new services without disrupting much of what they do by using the same framework and constructs for service orchestration will make it easier and faster for the operator community to offer these valuable services to the enterprises.

The author traveled to Los Angeles to attend MEF18 as a guest of MEF.