Completed Initiatives

The following provides summary information about the ATIS TOPS Council's priority activities since 2001. The TOPS Council commissions a variety of project groups to meet its needs for industry and standards assessment and reccomendations. Unless otherwise specified, the deliverable documents from TOPS Council groups are available only to ATIS members.

Big Data Analytics
Consolidation and Convergence
Data Interchange
Diversity Assurance Analysis
Dynamic Network Management
Exploratory Group on Green
Facilities Consolidation
Home Networking
Inter-Carrier VoIP Call Routing
Inter-Committee Security Review
IP Services Interconnect
Lawful Intercept Networks
Leveraging Network Intelligence
Mobile Wireless Services
National Diversity Assurance Initiative
Network Optimization
Network Security
Next Generation Networks
Next-Gen Carrier Interconnect
Optical Access Networks
Policy Management
PSTN Transition
SDN/NFV Focus Group
Service Oriented Networks
Software-Defined Networking
Trust and Identity
Unifying Client Architecture
Wide Area Ethernet

Lawful Intercept Networks

Completed: March 2014
As a result of the LIN-LT efforts, a new "ATIS LI Future Work & Structure Study" Ad Hoc Group (AHG) will be formed jointly by PTSC LAES and WTSC LI to provide recommendations regarding ATIS LI work structure and organization building on the assessment of the Landscape Team.

Leveraging Network Intelligence

Completed: October 2014
Lead: Tom Anderson (Cisco), Kevin Sparks (ALU)
Scope: Service provider networks possess a wealth of information (network intelligence) relative to subscribers, applications and network state. Attempts to leverage this intelligence have, in the past, fallen short. The potential gain associated with network intelligence is significant. Additionally, new network technologies such as NFV and SDN, provide new possibilities for network and application optimization. This focus group report has taken a “use case” approach in analyzing how network intelligence can be better leveraged in the network. Eleven different use cases have been analyzed. For each use case, both the network data inputs as well as potential outputs/network actions were considered to better leverage network intelligence.
Output: Emerging Opportunities for Leveraging Network Intelligence

SDN/NFV Focus Group

Completed: July 2014
Lead: Phillip Jacobs (Cisco), Ben Campbell (Oracle), Tom Anderson (Cisco), Laurent Laporte (Sprint)
Scope: By separating the control plane and the data plane, SDN opens the door to network virtualization as well as the potential for greater flexibility and lower costs for deploying and managing networks. This offers a radical new model for the deployment, engineering, and operation of service provider networks, and it opens the door for new revenue models. Operators and vendors alike need to understand the impacts that a transition toward a virtualized network infrastructure will have on their networks and operations. ATIS' Software-Defined Networking/Network Functions Virtualization Focus Group, launched in January 2014, will demonstrate service chaining of hardware/NFV appliances (e.g., load balancer, firewall, and CDN) using SDN concepts. This will involve developing application interface APIs and OAM interface APIs for service chaining in an OpenStack and OpenDaylight framework.This work builds on that of ATIS' Software-Defined Networking Focus Group. This Group was formed in May 2013 to assess new software-driven capabilities for dynamically managing traffic while enhancing network performance and reducing capital/operational expenses.
Output:  A landscape assessment was produced, and the ongoing work on SDN/NFV was transitioned to the ATIS NFV Forum

IP Services Interconnect (IPSI-FG)

Completed: September 2014
Co-Leads: Chris Drake (iconective), Carroll Grey Preston (GENBAND)
Scope:   The objective of the focus group is to define a strategy for developing an IP services interconnect specification suitable for all service provider types (wireless, wireline, and cable), encompassing basic, advanced, and future services. The scope includes forward-looking services such as HD Voice, Video, Messaging, and Data. Requirements are identified for a set of interconnection profiles built on existing standards to enable these services and to deliver a consistent user experience across all types of networks (e.g., Wireless, Fixed, and Cable). This analysis is complementary to a joint effort with the SIP Forum (the ATIS/SIP Forum IP-NNI Task Force) to develop a fully specified IP-NNI for voice services.
Output:  IP Services Interconnect Technical Report: Assessment of Requirements and Specifications

Unifying Client Architecture (UCA-FG)

Focus Group Concluded: October 2013
Co-leads: Dan Druta, AT&T; Dave Robinson, Alcatel-Lucent
Application developers are faced with creating clients capable of running on many different devices from different vendors, running different operating systems, and exposing different functionality to applications via different APIs. The UCA-FG was convened in February 2012 to help address this problem by investigating ways to help developers more easily harness the power of the core network. Over the course of its investigation, the Group identified real-time communication between browsers as a key area for study, eventually developing an open source JavaScript API called the Open Real-time Communications API, or orca.js, in July 2013.

The ORCA Project was eventually taken on by the newly created Device Solutions Initaitive in November 2013. The DSI will continue to guide work on ORCA, along with other projects in the future.

Software-Defined Networking (SDN-FG)

Recommendations Published : October 2013
Co-Leads: Steven Wright, AT&T; Ramki Krishnan, Brocade; Phil Jacobs, Cisco; Serge Manning, Huawei
By separating the control plane and the data plane, SDN opens the door to greater flexibility and lower costs for deploying and managing networks as well as the potential for network virtualization. ATIS' Software-Defined Networking Focus Group was formed in May 2013 to assess new software-driven capabilities for dynamically managing traffic while enhancing network performance and reducing capital/operational expenses. The Group undertook a top-down analysis, identifying service provider opportunities, standards needs/issues, and ATIS opportunities.

These recommendations were shared with a number of other organizations:

The Focus Group is continuing its investigation. The second phase is covering existing standards (e.g., IETF, ONF) with a focus on northbound APIs, as well as existing open source initiatives (e.g., OpenStack, OpenDaylight).

Big Data Analytics (BDA-FG)

Completed: October 2013
Lead: Jonjie Sena, Teoco
Operators have arguably the richest amount of detailed information about customers and their activities – with exponential growth. However, emerging non-traditional competitors (OTT providers) are beginning to “own” customers at the expense of operators. Communications service providers operators who are able to collect and analyze the wealth of network, customer and location data can use this information in many ways, including differentiating their services, offering locationbased services, creating targeted marketing campaigns, improving network performance, detecting fraud, and reducing costs. The BDA-FG was launched in April 2013 to investigate how operators could apply big data analytics to take advantage of these rich data assets. It outlined the elements and concepts necessary for future standardization, including a metadata framework, use cases, and privacy requirements.

Trust and Identity Focus Group (TI-FG)

Completed: July 2013
Lead: Andrew White, Nokia Siemens Networks
The current state of trust and identity is a combination of architectures designed for different purposes. On the one hand, there is a web ecosystem with rich services, but these services usually work within a single company and many rely on poorly validated identities. On the other hand, there is a limited set of mature communications capabilities that use robust, interoperable, and portable identities, but which are typically constrained to a limited number of services. The Group recommended specific actions to link existing identity systems and leverage service provider assets to address weaknesses of web identity solutions.

Cybersecurity Focus Group (CyberSec-FG)

Completed: April 2013
Lead: Mike Geller, Architect, Office of the Chief Architect, Cisco
This initiative resulted in the development of a critical framework for consistent and comprehensive cybersecurity design across multiple information and communications network technologies.

Work will continue in the Cybersecurity Subcommittee within its existing Packet Technologies and Systems Committee. This subcommittee will further the development of the topology and security zones; provide security requirements for specific functions within each scenario; and serve as a foundation for continued work efforts in validating network hardware, trust and identity architectures and more.

Dynamic Network Management Landscape Team (DNM-LT)

Completed: February 2013
Lead: Ram Krishnan, Brocade
The DNM-LT was formed to address the exponential growth in data traffic, especially delay sensitive traffic driven by emerging real-time applications, which presents network operators with unprecedented traffic management challenges. The Team assessed industry initiatives to reduce congestion and improve overall network performance to address the challenges facing both wireline and wireless carriers, and it completed its work by presenting a number of use cases to the Software-Defined Networking Focus Group for further study.

PSTN Transition Focus Group (PSTNTran-FG)

Completed: January 2013
Co-leads: Brian Daly, AT&T; and Michael Nawrocki, Verizon
ATIS’ Technology and Operations Council established the PSTN Transition Focus Group to assess issues related to this evolution, and provide guidance on critical network transition challenges. In its work, the PSTN-FG assessed challenges based on four key areas associated with the evolution: application services, access, transport and numbering. Work set forth in the report’s recommendations will progress initially through ATIS’ Packet Technologies and Systems Committee, which develops and recommends standards and technical reports related to services, architectures, and signaling, in addition to related subjects under consideration in other North American and international standards bodies.

eHealth Focus Group (eH-FG)

Completed: November 2012
Co-chairs: David Foote and Joe Lenart, Hitachi; and Paul Florack, TNS
M2M and Cloud technology have the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry. As new methods and technologies are developed, greater attention should be focused on the protection of personal health information and patient privacy. The Focus Group performed a detailed secruty assessment of health record keeping and developed use cases where standards development may develop solutions. The team delivered its final report during November 2012. As a result of this effort further eHealth efforts will continue within the ATIS M2M Committee. The eHealth sub-team within the M2M Committee will also collaborate with ATIS’ Cloud Services Forum (CSF) with respect to their ongoing Trusted Information Exchange (TIE) activities.

Machine-to-Machine Focus Group (M2M-FG)

Completed: June 2012
Co-leads: Gale Lightfoot, Cisco; and Jeff Edlund, HP
The Machine-to-Machine Focus (M2M-FG) was formed to assess the Smart Grid, Connected Vehicle, eHealth, and Connected Home verticals and identify areas of commonality at the service layer, in order to ensure optimal use of ICT capabilities. The M2M-FG concluded that defining a Common Service Layer, including common functional elements and the technologies that support them would be advantageous for the vertical segments, application developers, the ICT industry, and ultimately the end user. The team delivered its final report in June 2012. As a result of this effort a formalized M2M Committee launched during the summer of 2012.

Network Optimization Focus Group (NetOp-FG)

Completed: September 2011
Co-leads: Paul Mankiewich, (formerly) Juniper; and Marcus Weldon, Alcatel-Lucent
The Focus Group was formed to assess how to improve the ability to dynamically make changes in network behavior in a multi-vendor, end-to-end network. It determined how to optimize network, application and subscriber performance — resulting in significant cost savings for both service providers and their vendors.

Consolidation and Convergence Task Force (CC-TF)

Completed: February 2010
Co-leads: Jim Baskin, Verizon; and Robin Meier, AT&T
The Facilities Consolidation Task Force (FC-TF) was launched in June 2009 at the request of the ATIS TOPS Council and completed its assessment in February 2010. As a result of the Task Force’s assessment, several areas were identified that warranted further study. Therefore the ATIS TOPS Council endorsed a “Phase 2” assessment named Consolidation and Convergence Task Force (CC-TF) to address issues related to the transition of network facilities and technology platforms in a multi-carrier environment.

Policy Management Focus Group (PM-FG)

Completed: June 2010
Lead: Charlie Vogt, President and CEO, GENBAND
The PM-FG conducted a standards inventory assessment of Policy Management from a network perspective. The focus group addressed specific issues related to Packet Processing, Convergence and Policy Charging Control. After the Technology and Operations Council completed this 12 month study it was concluded that growing data volumes would make it unrealistic to focus exclusively on deploying additional capacity to address this problem. Further, to provide a consistent end-to-end user experience, different networks must manage policy with coordinated, synchronized solutions. As such, Policy Management tools were identified as a means of achieving greater network efficiency, and maximizing installed network capacity.

Facilities Consolidation Task Force (FC-TF)

Completed: February 2010
Lead: James Baskin, Verizon
The FC-TF examined the technologies and business drivers for Facilities Consolidation, the impediments to their implementation, and the industry’s need for action to collectively address regulatory, standards, and other authority towards updated requirements.

Exploratory Group on Green (EGG)

Completed: January 2010
Lead: Harald Braun, Harris Stratex Networks (Aviat Networks)
As part of ATIS' Green Initiative, the ATIS Executive Committee of the Board commissioned this Exploratory Group on Green (EGG), comprised of ATIS Board member companies, with the objective to investigate how ATIS and its members can address environmental sustainability. The EGG stems from the reccomendation of ATIS Board Member companies participating in the ATIS Green Workshop in late July 2008. Based on that reccomendation, the EGG investigated and prioritized the items identified as important to ATIS members during the Green Workshop.

The Exploratory Group on Green issued its three reports to the TOPS Council:

Home Networking (HNET)

Completed: 2009
Lead: Nick Adamo, Senior VP, Cisco
The TOPS Council commissioned the Home Networking Focus Group (HNET-FG) to address the issue of Home Networking, specifically to assess issues in the development of a cohesive home networking infrastructure able to support VoIP, IPTV, and other IP based services. Based on the assessment of the HNET-FG, the ATIS Board of Directors created the ATIS Home Networking Forum which was tasked with developing solutions supporting the rollout of these technologies and services and provide a point of industry coordination for Home Networking standards.

Service Oriented Networks

Completed: January 2009
Lead: Matt Bross, (former) CTO, BT
The TOPS Council commissioned the Service Oriented Networks Focus Group (SON-FG) to address the issue of IMS/SOA/Web 2.0 and provide a means for improving the ability of Telcos to build upon their IMS based infrastructure environments by improving the SCE and programming models accessible to the developer community and methods for blending capabilities from a variety of sources. Based on the assessment of the SON–FG, the ATIS Board of Directors created the Cloud Services Forum to provide industry leadership toward the vision of an open and flexible standards based service development environment.

Next Generation Carrier Interconnect (NG-CI)

Completed: February 2008
Lead: Tom Payne, Director-Technology Programs, ATIS
To assess the current NG-CI standards landscape within ATIS, a workshop was held February 19th - 21st, 2008 to facilitate the development of a roadmap to identify the near and long-term/continuing actions needed for NG-CI standards. As a result of this workshop, a roadmap was developed to guide ATIS Committees in the development of NG-CI standards. This roadmap contains timeframes, resources, and intra-committee dependencies. After completion of the assessment, an addendum was created that outlines 10 additional technical issues and business use cases.

Inter-Carrier VOIP Call Routing (IVCR-FG)

Completed: February 2008
Lead: Pieter Poll, CTO, Qwest
The ATIS Inter-Carrier VoIP Call Routing Focus Group (IVCR-FG) was commissioned to investigate issues associated with call routing for inter-provider VoIP interconnection. The IVCR-FG's assessment of the priority area resulted in a workshop with other industry stakeholders to charactarize the viability of call routing solutions, and ongoing dialogue with regards to the implementation of a single call routing solution.

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)

Completed: January 2011
Lead: Tim Jeffries, (former) VP-Technology and Business Development, ATIS
The ATIS TOPS Council commissioned the Internet Protocol version 6 Readiness Plan Study Group (AIRP-SG) as an extension of the Task Force (IPv6-TF) after the TF's assessment of the need for and various aspects of IPv6 transition from IPv4. The AIRP-SG has developed an organizational tool and guide to assist organizations through this transition.


Completed: September 2007
Lead: Chris Rice, (former) CTO, AT&T
The ATIS Exploratory Group on Convergence (EGC) was commissioned to explore the various aspects of convergence based on the identification of wireless-wireline convergence as a high priority issue by ATIS Board member companies, as well as on the ATIS Next Generation Network Focus Group's (NGN-FG) findings in the ATIS NGN Gap Analysis. In that report, the NGN-FG recommended that ATIS should further explore the multiplicity of issues surrounding wireless-wireline convergence.

The TOPS Priorities of Broadband Services and Service Capability Interaction Management were also addressed within the context of Convergence.

Optical Access Networks (OAN-FG)

Completed: July 2007
Lead: Kevin Schneider, CTO, ADTRAN
The ATIS Optical Access Networks Focus Group (OAN-FG) was commissioned to investigate the issues associated with the development of standards for FTTx and optical networking technologies. This Focus Group stems from the ATIS Board of Director's identification of FTTx as a high priority issue. Based on the reccomendation of the OAN-FG, the ATIS Board of Directors endorsed the formation of a new sub-committee under the ATIS Network Interface, Power and Protection (NIPP) Committee to address optical access networking issues.

Inter-Committee Security Review Group (ISRG)

The ATIS Inter-Committee Security Review Group (ISRG) was established as a venue for the discussion of security work conducted by ATIS committees with the goal of identifying possible synergies and identifying and discussing potential new issues, dependencies, and timelines for completing existing and potential new network security issues.

Diversity Assurance Analysis

The ATIS Diversity Assurance Analysis (DAA) was established to evaluate potential solutions for diversity assurance in a multi-carrier environment. This effort included determining: which criteria such solutions should fulfill, the costs associated with implementing potential solutions, the timeframe to implement potential solutions, and the operational impacts on telecommunications carriers. The effort also included selecting the most appropriate solution and developing requirements to implement it.

Next Generation Networks

Completed: May 2006
Chair: Janet Davidson, (former) President-Corporate Strategy & Development, Lucent
The NGN-FG developed and proposed ATIS requirements for NGN that includes a multi-service, access independent architecture and enables an evolution from currently deployed architectures to provide a common architecture and service interfaces that will allow the seamless delivery of applications to customers while ensuring continued support for existing services.

Network Security

Completed: March 2006
Lead: Tom Payne, Director-Technology Programs, ATIS
The Network Security focus group resolved and rationalized security standards for next generation interfaces, 802.11 wireless LANs and IP networks. This focus group utilized the findings from the ATIS Security Summit, "Security of Service Provider Infrastructure in an Era of Convergence," to define a coordinated standards development program for network security.

Voice Over IP

Completed: March 2006
Lead: Bill Smith, (former) CTO, BellSouth
The VoIP focus group sought to ensure interoperability of signaling and voice coding over IP networks, as well as interoperability between wireless and wireline packet networks.

Data Interchange

Completed: March 2006
Lead: Venkates Swaminathan, (former) Senior VP, NeuStar
The Data Interchange (Billing) focus group has developed a work plan for a service-neutral e-commerce framework. This framework will ensure the development of standard, secure processes, data models, protocols, and implementation agreements by which services can be ordered, provisioned, billed, settled, and managed.

Mobile Wireless Services

Completed: March 2006
Lead: Asok Chatterjee, (former) VP-Public Affairs, Ericsson
The Mobile Wireless Services focus group assessed emerging standards for 3rd Generation (3G) enhanced services such as multimedia messaging, location-based services, presence services and push services.

Wide Area Ethernet

Completed: March 2006
Lead: Joe Berthold, (former) VP-Network Architecture, Ciena
The Wide Area Ethernet focus group assessed end-to-end Ethernet-based services across multiple transport networks such as public, private, cable, and wireless networks. Services explored include switched, point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and multipoint-to-point, multipoint-to-multipoint.

National Diversity Assurance Initiative

Completed: February 2006
Lead: Led by the ATIS CIO Council with representatives from the Federal Reserve, AT&T, BellSouth, MCI, Qwest, SBC, Sprint, Verizon and ATIS
The NDAI (Initiative) was established to evaluate the problem inherent in assuring National Security /Emergency Preparedness circuit route diversity in a multi-carrier environment.

Internet Protocol Television

Completed: July 2005
Lead: Kevin Schneider, CTO, ADTRAN
The IPTV Exploratory Group (IEG) explored IPTV with respect to its ability to deliver on industry’s expectations for vital functionality, carrier-grade quality and user-expected service reliability, as well as to assess areas in which ATIS may play a role in the development of industry standards. Based on the assessment of the IEG, the ATIS Board of Directors created the ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum.


For more information about the TOPS Council and its activities, please contact

, Director - Strategic Initiatives
, Committee Administrator


Chris Drake
TOPS Council Chair