A federation operator is an organisation that operates an identity federation. Operation typically includes at minimum:

Many federations also offer:

Most academic federations are operated by the national research and education network (NREN). These organisations typically also operate the network connecting the universities and research organisations within a country. A few examples of NRENs that are also the operator of the national federation are shown in the image above.

list of known federation operators in the academic sector can be found on the REFEDS web page.