This week, the telecommunications industry gathered at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, for the MEF16 ( global networking conference. The event, hosted by MEF (, featured the presentation of the MEF 2016 Excellence Awards.

The MEF Excellence Awards program is the largest in the world focused on advanced Carrier Ethernet services and emerging Third Network services. The Third Network concept combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the assurance and security of CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0). Third Network services provide an on-demand, orchestrated, and assured experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. Third Network services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.

The panel of judges for the MEF 2016 Excellence Awards was comprised of regional and global senior analysts from Current Analysis, ATLANTIC-ACM, Frost & Sullivan, Ovum, HIS Markit, Metanoia, Vertical Systems and SDxCentral. Independent judges also took part in the selection process.

In total, 38 prestigious awards were issued for leadership in application, technology, service, professional excellence and innovation. Here is a breakdown of the MEF 2016 Excellence Award winners:

Service Provider and Enterprise Application Award Winners

Worldwide Awards

  • Service Provider of the Year – AT&T
  • Innovative Service of the Year – AT&T
  • Best Service Provider Marketing – Colt Technology Services
  • LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Service Provider Leadership – Level 3 Communications, AT&T, and Sparkle
  • Best Network Innovation – AT&T

Wholesale Service Provider of the Year

  • Asia Pacific (APAC) – Tata Communications
  • Caribbean & Latin America (CALA) – C&W Networks
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) – Colt Technology Services
  • North America – Level 3 Communications
  • Global – Verizon Partner Solutions and PCCW Global (tie)

Retail Service Provider of the Year

  • EMEA – Colt Technology Services
  • North America – Level 3 Communications
  • Global – Level 3 Communications

Best Service Innovation of the Year

  • CALA – C&W Networks
  • EMEA – Colt Technology Services
  • North America – Global Capacity & AT&T (tie)
  • Global – AT&T

Best Enterprise Application of the Year

  • Education – Vertical Telecoms Pty Limited (Vertel)
  • Financial – Colt Technology Services
  • Government – Comcast Business
  • Health – AT&T
  • Manufacturing – Colt Technology Services
  • Media – Tata Communications
  • Retail – Level 3 Communications
  • Sports and Entertainment – Comcast Business

Third Network Technology Award Winners

  • Third Network Technology Vendor of the Year – Amdocs
  • CE 2.0 Technology of the Year – Accedian Networks
  • LSO Technology of the Year – Amdocs and CENX (tie)
  • NFV Technology of the Year – ADVA Optical Networking
  • SDN Technology of the Year – VeloCloud
  • Multi-Vendor Innovation of the Year – Oracle Communications, InfoVista, Juniper Networks, and ADVA Optical Networking
  • Third Network Thought Leadership – ECI
  • LSO, NFV, and SDN Consulting – Fujitsu Network Communications

Professional Award Winners

  • Industry Executive of the Year – John Donovan, AT&T
  • MEF Distinguished Fellow – Steve Haddock
  • MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) of the Year – Dan Blemings, Director of Ethernet Product Management, AT&T

Kevin Vachon, Chief Operating Officer at MEF, attested to the fierce competition and difficulty of selecting winners at this year’s global networking conference.

“MEF congratulates the 2016 Award winners for the outstanding work they are doing to advance service and technology innovation,” stated Mr. Vachon. “Judging was highly competitive this year, with 36 companies – including 19 service providers and 17 technology vendors – competing as finalists for this year’s awards.”

For more information about MEF and the Third Network, click here.