March 8, 2023

VP of Product Marketing

Talking about Disaggregated Cloud-native Networking at MWC 2023

Last week was just like another week in Barcelona, as if the bizarre global occurrences of the last few years had never happened. Indeed, unlike last year’s MWC, this one was back to its original format, scope and crowd.

Talking about Disaggregated Cloud-native Networking at MWC 2023

Highlights from our MWC Service Provider press event

DriveNets hosted a panel for analysts and media in order to explain its work and hear from industry leaders on progress for disaggregated networking. Members of the panel included Igal Elbaz, SVP and network CTO at AT&T; Ido Susan, co-founder and CEO of DriveNets; Jean Louis Le Roux, executive vice president for International Networks with Orange; Cayetano Carbajo, VP for core, transport and service platforms with Telefonica.

“We enjoy this relationship. We enjoy the disruption. We enjoy the ability to work together and push some boundaries in our ability to deliver not just software, but actually a full service. We can deploy the reliability and the rigor that a telco at our scale needs.”

Igal Elbaz, SVP Network/CTO, AT&T

  • Traffic going into the network is growing about 30% year over year
  • All types of customers are consuming more services from the cloud today and from any location, which requires us to provide a seamless networking experience
  • Over time we had to develop an approach and an architecture that allows us to provide such an experience, and to scale our network, much easier than before; we did so based on three principles:
  • Convergence: we are building a multi-service converge edge and the convergence to go actually all the way to access
  • Openness: this leads to flexibility, cost advantages and network intelligence
  • Cloudification: we’re trying to apply cloud-architecture principles into every part of our network
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“DriveNets is clearly a very good candidate. I think the cloud network architecture is really relevant to provide this elasticity. So we are going to start doing some testing in our labs and most probably we will have a trial before the end of the year.”

Jean Louis Le Roux, Executive VP International Networks, Orange

Our network today is challenged by the following main requirements:

  • Cost efficiency: TCO reduction
  • Scalability: traffic is increasing by 30-40% per year
  • Sustainability (green): we are aiming to reduce carbon footprint by 45% by 2030
  • On demand: B2B customers seek on-demand services ordering, upgrading and downgrading with just a few clicks
  • Flexibility and elasticity: the summary of the above mentioned requirements
  • Router disaggregation answers all those needs, which is why we decided one year ago to move towards disaggregation
  • We decided to stop listening to slideware about disaggregation and to start implementing and experimenting, starting with switches and now moving to core and peering routers (P, PE)

“We are pushing for disaggregation in all the network layers. Why? When decoupling the software and the hardware you can have different innovation cycles and you can bring new things to the network in a faster way.”

Cayetano Carbajo, VP for Core, Transport and Service Platforms, Telefónica

We are pushing disaggregation and cloudification for the following reasons:

  • Separate innovation cycles: leveraging faster innovation in software
  • Increasing competition: more vendors with lower barriers to entry
  • We are pushing disaggregation in all network domains, from access to core (UNICA project)
  • Open RAN
  • Disaggregated OLT
  • Optical disaggregation (3rd-party transponders)
  • IP disaggregation (from CSR via vBRAS to core)
  • IP and optical integration


So what else is new at MWC 2023?

Well, on the mobile front, not a lot. The industry is still looking for the 5G killer app, still talking metaverse, and still starting-to-talk 6G.

On the cloud-native networking front, however, this event signals the transition from the huge-promises/market-education phase to the real-life/lessons-learned/massive-deployment phase.

Bigger News on the Cloud-Native Networking Front

This state of the industry became clear to me due to the following:

  1. Most of the (many) customers visiting our booth were extremely pragmatic – talking about the next phase of deployment, roadmaps, new services etc.


  1. Walk-in visitors typically arrived at our booth already knowing what we do, knowing the value of disaggregation and cloud native networking, and knowing about our success stories with other operators.
  2. Our press event at MWC brought three senior executives from global tier-1 operators to talk about the value of disaggregation.

What’s next for disaggregated cloud-native networking

In the coming weeks, we will be publishing a more thorough summary of our press event. But I think the above highlights clearly show that when talking about disaggregated cloud-native networking, it is no longer a question of “if” or “why” but of “when” and where.”

I am already looking forward to MWC 2024…


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