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Press Release

Open Source and Standards Organizations Collaborate to Enable Digital Transformation

  • TM Forum Catalyst Projects prove the value of a single Open API standard and contribute improvements to ONAP’s Beijing Release

PARSIPPANY, NJ — June 2018: TM Forum Catalyst projects showcased during the recent Digital Transformation World event in Nice France have highlighted the value of combining open source with open standards and contributed valuable improvements to The Linux Foundation’s Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Beijing Release, availability of which was announced on the 12th June.

The Catalyst projects, which comprise proof-of-concept demonstrations built in collaboration by groups of TM Forum member companies, used assets from ONAP, MEF and the TM Forum’s Open API program to demonstrate the business value that cooperation can bring.

TM Forum Open APIs carrying MEF defined payloads provide the northbound interfaces in the ONAP Beijing Release, allowing for orders to be placed and fulfilled as well as QoS to be monitored. Development of the APIs, and changes necessary to accommodate various use cases, was done in parallel between The Linux Foundation, MEF and the TM Forum. All groups openly cooperated via their mutual members.

During their development, the Catalysts provided early implementation feedback to the ONAP project and MEF, improving the overall quality of their respective deliverables. During preparation for the Digital Transformation World event, the Catalyst projects generated and resolved a number of issues and change requests for ONAP in time for the Beijing Release.

By collaborating closely with ONAP and MEF, TM Forum ensures that its Open APIs provide a single standard for the whole industry.

The 5G Intelligent Service Operations Catalyst (championed by AT&T, BT, KDDI, NTT, Orange, TIM, Telenor and Vodafone, and supported by MYCOM-OSI, Netcracker, Tech Mahindra and TEOCO) demonstrated how communications service providers (CSPs) can enable new services by managing 5G network slices at events like the Tour de France, including 4K video streaming, drone-based broadcasting and IoT-provided statistics. The project showcased end-to-end slice management, dynamic service orchestration, reactive and proactive assurance, and policy management that assures service level agreements and customer experience using multi-level closed-loop automation. Integrated ONAP policy management, with service orchestrator and an external assurance system delivers slice level closed loop implementation and integration with the service layer.

The 5G Intelligent Service Planning and Optimization Catalyst, (championed by AT&T, BT, NTT, Orange and TIM, and supported by Aria Networks, Ericsson, MYCOM-OSI, and Wipro) demonstrated how a 5G network can be dynamically planned, optimized, integrated and assured, also using the Tour de France scenario. It showed dynamic service creation and planning along with reactive and proactive closed loop automation in conjunction with AI to provide an optimized and personalized customer experience.

The Automating Network As A Service Catalyst (championed by Telstra, AT&T, Orange, Vodafone and MEF, and supported by Ciena, DGIT Systems, Infosys and Riverbed) used operational domain management, TM Forum Open APIs and MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) to demonstrate automated orchestration of services across multiple providers and over diverse network technology domains. It showed how services can be ordered through a portal and then automatically activated across hybrid networks made up of virtualized and physical components, allowing CSPs to build automated, model-driven digital ecosystems. Specifically, the project showed how to implement LSO across multiple operational network domains using an architecture based on a Hybrid Infrastructure Platform defined by TM Forum’s Zero-touch Orchestration Operations and Management project, with self-service ordering and an “offer canvas” experience.

The Blade Runner Catalyst (championed by Vodafone, AT&T, BT, Du, NTT, Orange, TIM and Verizon, and supported by BearingPoint, CENX, EXFO, Infosys, and Riverbed) focused on enabling the end-to-end orchestration and closed loop assurance of a composite set of cloud services across a diverse partner ecosystem (service providers and digital enablers) using the TM Forum Open Digital Architecture, while contributing towards ONAP standards. The project demonstrated the means to rapidly design and deploy services and products in a consistent fashion in the core or at the edge (Mobile Edge Computing) by making use of standard modelling languages and interfaces. The project also addressed wholesale billing for cloud services and automated assurance, proposing new ways to standardize policy and SLA management using a pre-defined model.

"These ground-breaking Catalyst projects demonstrate just how important and powerful collaboration is to success in today's market,” said Nik Willetts, CEO of TM Forum. “By bringing together industry-leading service and solution providers, open source and open standards groups with a commitment and passion to drive real change, we are unlocking the power of open innovation for our industry.”

“We are well on the way to achieving our goal of harmonizing open source and open standards to accelerate deployment and adoption of future network architectures,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, The Linux Foundation. “Our progress has been rapid since announcing our partnership with TM Forum back in March. We have seen the inclusion of TM Forum Open APIs in the ONAP Beijing Release, and beyond, as well as the practical implementations showcased in TM Forum’s Catalyst projects.”

“ONAP was designed from the ground up to enable rapid deployment and orchestration of new network services, and it’s great to be a part of these TM Forum Catalyst projects showcasing those capabilities,” said Chris Rice, LF Networking board chairman and Senior Vice President of Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design at AT&T. “The combination of open source software and open standards create agile, flexible platforms for service providers to use. With this approach, open standards can be developed quickly based on real-world requirements, and open source code can be used to ensure interoperability of those standards. This is an example of two organizations, each best-in-class, coming together to benefit the entire industry.”

"The Blade Runner Catalyst project is a poster child of collaboration between service providers and the supplier ecosystem coming together to create common TOSCA/YANG model-based cloud services that can be deployed end to end across multiple service provider environments using TM Forum Open APIs with speed and efficiency, meeting the needs for 5G Network slices, Mobile Edge Computing and closed loop Service Assurance. This project is helping us explore new, "art of the possible" use cases," said Shankar Arumugavelu, Senior Vice President and Global CIO, Verizon.

“Bringing together standards and opensource contributions is THE way forward,” said Thierry Souche, Orange Group CIO. “In Orange, we strongly support TM Forum open APIs and ONAP. In a matter of a few months our team contributed a polymorphic API implementation for the first ONAP northbound APIs (service order, service catalog and service inventory) to the ONAP Beijing release, representing more than 11,000 lines of code and more than 75 commits. At the same time, these “network as a service” APIs were proven by the Automating Network As A Service Catalyst, together with MEF – a significant step for IT and network communities around the world.”

“TM Forum Catalysts are the showcase event for innovative proof of concepts in Digital Telecoms Operations and Management. Showcasing innovation on its own is not enough - operators must deliver automated, interoperable services at scale on shared platforms. These award-winning Catalyst projects demonstrated very different innovations but, crucially, for the first time they were built on a common reference architecture combining ONAP, TM Forum open APIs and MEF-defined service payloads. We see this as a critical step towards bringing these innovations to life for our customers,” commented Carlos Valero, Global IT Strategy & Architecture Director, Vodafone.

“We believe that the digital first approach is a necessity to capitalize on the potential of 5G, and service providers who digitally transform now will be in pole position to turn on 5G,” said Mats Karlsson, head of OSS at Ericsson. “Collaboration across industry organizations, as seen in these Catalyst projects, is key to achieving a digital first architecture and the unprecedented agility it will bring.”

“The advanced and complex use cases showcased in these Catalysts are excellent examples of how the MEF 3.0 framework, including the MEF services definitions and LSO Reference Architecture, can be used in combination with TM Forum APIs to accelerate the transformation and automation of service providers’ business and operational systems,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “MEF’s inter-provider LSO Sonata API standardization effort extends multiple TM Forum Open APIs to enable orchestration of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet and other emerging MEF 3.0 services.”

“While 5G significantly increases communication capabilities, cost effectiveness will be the key driver for large scale adoption. This emphasizes the need for industry collaboration to create solutions for dynamic planning and continuous optimization of resources in line with varied and changing business requirements,” said Viswanathan Ramaswamy, VP and 5G Champion, Wipro Limited.

“Effective service level monitoring and policy management will be paramount to ensure CSP customer satisfaction,” said TEOCO CTO, Shachar Ebel. “TEOCO is proud to have played a leading role in the 5G Intelligent Service Operations Catalyst alongside our collaborators. The resulting open ecosystem demonstrates how closed-loop automation can ensure quality of service across dynamic and static network slices, allowing new-generation services to be operationalized, orchestrated and monetized.”

“The Automating Network as a Service Catalyst used TM Forum Catalog and Ordering APIs to demonstrate that model driven changes to Dynamic Orchestrated Networks (Blue Planet), Virtualized Networks (ONAP) and Partner Networks (MEF Sonata) could flow through catalogs and API powered digital channels to customers, followed by customer orders flowing seamlessly through to the networks. We are now entering a new era of interoperability using TM Forum Open APIs,” said Greg Tilton CEO, DGIT Systems.

To learn more about TM Forum’s commitment to Open APIs, follow this link:

To learn more about TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World, follow this link:

To learn more about TM Forum’s Catalyst program, follow this link:


About TM Forum
TM Forum is an association of over 850 member companies that generate a combined US$2 trillion in revenue and serve five billion customers across 180 countries. We drive collaboration and collective problem-solving to maximize the business success of communication and digital service providers and their ecosystem of suppliers. We support our members, as they navigate their unique digital transformation journeys, by providing practical and proven assets and tools to accelerate execution, and by creating digital and physical platforms that facilitate collaborative problem solving and innovation. Learn more at

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