Embracing the Future with Network as a Service (NaaS)

Network as a Service - CableLabs

Paul Fonte
Director of Future Infrastructure Group

Tyler Glenn
Principal Engineer

Feb 26, 2024

Key Points

  • NaaS enables developers to write applications that work across networks and network operators using a single, simple API.
  • It streamlines communication and coordination between applications and the underlying network — improving network efficiency and reducing service complexity.
  • This approach is more flexible, scalable and user-centric than other current solutions.

In our increasingly connected world, the demand for seamless, fast and efficient online experiences is growing at an unprecedented rate. Imagine a network where your services follow you, enabling an experience that is unique to you — wherever you are, on any device.

This is where Network as a Service (NaaS) steps in, promising to revolutionize the way we interact with the digital world. Let's dive into the what, why and how of NaaS.

Optimizing Online Experiences

In today’s home network, we are simultaneously connecting more devices and running more applications than ever before — all creating the countless online experiences we encounter every day.

What if we could manage these new experiences more efficiently, ensuring that the network is adapting to our needs? That’s precisely the goal NaaS aims to achieve.

By leveraging context awareness, NaaS enables a network that is more responsive to those different devices and applications while giving users a new level of control over their services.

The Impact of Enhancing Connectivity

Improving the underlying network infrastructure isn’t just about eliminating minor inconveniences. It's about unlocking a world of possibilities.

For users, that means an enhanced online experience with faster, more reliable access to services. For operators, it opens up new avenues for revenue through the delivery of new, more advanced network services. Most significantly, it enables a robust, agile network as the foundation for future technologies and experiences in the home and on the go.

NaaS stands at the forefront of this transformation, ensuring that as our digital demands evolve, our networks aren’t just keeping up but leading the way.

What Is Network as a Service?

NaaS is a new approach to networking. It acts as a bridge between the applications we use and the underlying network, allowing for an unprecedented level of communication and coordination.

In simple terms, NaaS lets applications request the network services they need when they need them, thereby ensuring an optimal experience through dynamic network controls. NaaS enables developers to write applications that work across networks and across operators — all through a single, simple API.

This evolved architecture improves the network's efficiency and reduces the complexity of deploying and managing services. Compared with existing solutions, NaaS provides a more flexible, scalable and user-centric approach, heralding a new age of digital connectivity.

A collaboration between CableLabs and Liberty Global, Explorer WiFi leverages NaaS to provide a private network and enhanced Wi-Fi services for guests of hotels and short-term rentals. Video Provided by Liberty Global

The Future of NaaS and CableLabs' Role

The NaaS journey is just beginning. As we look toward the future, we see a digital landscape where networks aren’t just infrastructure but intelligent platforms that adapt to our needs in real time.

CableLabs is committed to leading this transformation, working closely with our members and the vendor community to explore, develop and deploy NaaS solutions. Through working groups, webinars and collaborative projects, we plan to take advantage of the ample opportunities for involvement and stay at the forefront of this network innovation.

Your Invitation to Shape the Future of Networking

Are you excited about the possibilities NaaS offers? Do you want to be part of this digital revolution?

Whether you're a developer, an operator or simply someone passionate about the future of technology, your insights and contributions are valuable. To learn more and find out how you can get involved, click the button below. Together, we can build a more connected, efficient and innovative digital world.

If you’re attending MWC Barcelona 2024, come see NaaS in action. Alongside Liberty Global and Vodafone Ziggo, CableLabs will present a demo illustrating potential applications of NaaS on the fixed network. Look for us in the GSMA booth located in Hall 4, Stand 4F30. 

The future of networking isn’t only about faster speeds and more connections; it's about creating a smarter, more responsive infrastructure that anticipates and adapts to our needs. That’s what NaaS is all about.

Join us on this exciting journey!



Crack the NFV Code for Free with our New NFV 101 Training Course

NFV 101 Training Course

Paul Fonte
Director of Future Infrastructure Group

Oct 9, 2018

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and virtualization are transitioning from “buzz words” to reality. As this transition takes place, our members and other players in the ecosystem are asking:

  • What is NFV at its core?
  • How will it impact my operations?
  • What does it mean for my long-term strategy?

In an attempt to answer those questions, CableLabs has developed an NFV 101 training course. This seven-part training series:

  • Introduces NFV basics,
  • Key NFV requirements,
  • Use cases,
  • Current industry landscape,
  • The role of open source and standards,
  • And the future trends we’re expecting from this technology.

NFV will play a key role in shaping how we operate as an industry. With that in mind, this course was designed for anybody who wants to learn more about the technology. Let’s explore in more detail what to expect from each part of the series:

Part 1: NFV Basics

This section will lay the foundational building blocks by exploring what NFV is at its core. You will also find examples of how the technology will impact the network and where SDN plays a role with NFV.

NFV Basics

Part 2: Key NFV Requirements

For NFV implementations to be successful, key requirements must be met. This section explores what those requirements are and how to manage those requirements as you encounter them. These key requirements are:

  • Cloud-based network topology implementation
  • Environmental considerations (e.g., space, power)
  • Performance (e.g., latency, throughput)
  • Security
  • License management
  • Availability (e.g., reliability, resilience, fault management)

Part 3: NFV Use Cases

NFV presents some compelling use cases, and in this section, we’ll explore some of the most prominent that we’re seeing in the industry, including vFirewall, vCCAP Core with Remote PHY Device (RPD), and SD-WAN. This section also discusses how each use case will impact your operations and customer base.

NFV Use Cases

Part 4: Industry Landscape

In this section of the training, we will dive more deeply into the NFV architecture and what role each of the major components plays. This section will also highlight what roles network services and Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) play within NFV, along with how ETSI has impacted the development and maturity of this technology.

NFV Architecture

Part 5: Relevant Open-Source Projects

As NFV technology has matured, so have open-source initiatives to improve the technology and interoperability. This section will review the major open-source initiatives and the role they play within the architecture.

Relevant Open Source Projects

Part 6: CableLabs and NFV

As open source and standards mature and shape the future of NFV, CableLabs is playing a key role in helping shape those groups for the entire cable ecosystem. CableLabs has developed a program called SDN & NFV Application Platform and Stack (SNAPS™). SNAPS is the overarching program that provides the foundation for virtualization projects and deployment leveraging SDN and NFV. CableLabs spearheaded the SNAPS project to fill in gaps in the open-source community and to ease the adoption of SDN/NFV for our cable members.

CableLabs and NFV

Part 7: Future Trends

Leveraging NFV, cable is poised for the future with the best access network. In this section, we will review where NFV and SDN can take cable networks, along with what to expect from NFV as the technology matures and grows with production implementations.

Three Waves of NFV

If you have any questions about the content, contact me at If you would like to request a live training session of the course, contact Amar Kapadia at To review the video series of the training, click below.

Take the NFV 101 Course