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What is Cisco’s stance on MEF 22?


This week my Mobile Internet Odyssey comes back to Earth, grounded in a very specific technical concern for today’s Mobile Internet interworking – MEF 22 compliance

For those of you already intimately aware of MEF 22, let me share the punch line …

Cisco is an official member of Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and complies with the major recommendations of MEF for Mobile networks, including MEF 22

For those of you who may be wondering “What is MEF 22?” please read on.

"Carrier Ethernet for Mobile Backhaul Implementation Agreement (IA)", or MEF 22 was officially announced at Mobile World Congress in February 2009. Light Reading offers a nice summary of this technical specification in the Feb 13, 2009 article MEF Standardizes Backhaul

By offering a practical migration path to 3G and 4G services, while preserving legacy services revenue, the MEF 22 allows mobile service providers to take part in two rapidly expanding markets -- the delivery of high bandwidth mobile applications and Carrier Ethernet.

Cisco’s IP RAN Backhaul solution complies with MEF 22, and leverages the use of IP/MPLS for the TDM gateway function as defined in the IP/MPLS Forum IPMPLS 23 Specification. In fact Cisco’s IP RAN Backhaul solution was the First to be certified by IP/MPLS Forum

In layman’s terms, Cisco’s IP RAN Solution connects multiple vendor radios, with multiple vendor gateways, efficiently, reliably, and in compliance with best practices and standards. The solution leverages the latest and greatest benefits of Carrier Ethernet technology and design, including MEF 22 compliance. And the solution is already live. Live deployments allow Cisco to offer valuable lessons learned interoperating with all major mobile radio vendors, back to MEF.

For inquiries and clarifications of specific details related to MEF 22, please add your comments to this post and/or launch a Discussion in our Cisco Mobility Community.

Note: For the MEF aficionados, Cisco does not support MEF 8 nor plan to get support / certification for MEF 18 because MEF 18 relies on MEF 8 outdated circuit emulation technique over Ethernet, initially designed for  transporting enterprise PBX traffic. Cisco uses IP MPLS and Pseudowires. The actual impairment tests in MEF 18 are almost identical to the one found in the IP/MPLS Forum test suite for IP MPLS 23, where the only difference between MEF8 , and a static MPLS Pseudowire  is one byte in the ethertype encapsulation. There is no point in supporting MEF8 just to have a byte in the ethertype be set to a different value.

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