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MEF today introduces the Third Network Professional Certification Framework for creating a global ecosystem of certified professionals with leading-edge skills required to support agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services.

The framework comprises a family of essential, professional, and expert level certifications. These will cover the concepts and skills needed to build automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration), SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0). Development of these advanced networks will accelerate the worldwide transition to on-demand Third Network services that provide user-directed control over service capabilities.

"MEF is building upon our experience with the world's most popular vendor-neutral professional certification - MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) - that is achieving a major milestone this month," said Nan Chen, President, MEF. "We are reaching 5,000+ certified professionals employed by 440 companies in 83 countries. Building on this solid track record, we aim to create the industry's most coveted professional credentials for networking professionals."

"A highly skilled and well-trained workforce is essential to providing consultation and networking solutions that will address the needs of global enterprises now and in the future, particularly with the rapid migration to cloud-based services," said Paul Savill, SVP of Global Product Management, Level 3. "To this end, since the inception of the MEF-CECP program, more than 500 Level 3 professionals have attained certification."

The Third Network Professional Certification Framework includes the following certifications:

Essential Level: Foundational Certification for Careers Supporting Advanced Networks MEF Third Network Foundations (MEF-TNF) - available 3Q 2017 Third Network Foundations certification validates individuals' concept-level understanding of key Third Network terms, processes, and elements. Knowledge and practice domains include SDN, NFV, Connectivity Services/CE, LSO/Orchestration, and use cases in all of these areas.

Professional Level: IT Certifications for Practitioners in Advanced Networks MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) MEF-CECP certification recognizes individuals who demonstrate expertise and excellence in technological knowledge and understanding of Carrier Ethernet service specifications and definitions. The certification exam will be periodically updated to ensure individuals have the most current Carrier Ethernet expertise that is most relevant to the Third Network era.

SDN/NFV Certified Professional - coming in 2018 MEF will work with subject matter experts to design and deploy the first ISO-accredited professional certification that validates knowledge, skills, and abilities in both SDN and NFV.

LSO Certified Professional - coming in 2018 LSO certification will cover major orchestration platforms from a practitioner's point of view.
Professionals will, among other things, validate their knowledge of emerging LSO API standards for orchestrating services across multiple service providers and multiple technology domains.

Additional Professional Level Certifications - future offerings MEF envisions launching additional professional certifications in advanced network security, SD-WAN, network design and architecture, and other topics during the next several years.

Expert Level: Mastery in Vendor-Neutral and Vendor-Specific Network Technologies MEF anticipates recognizing Expert Level professionals who achieve multiple Professional Level certifications, including combinations with vendor-specific mastery certifications.