Blockchain Technology For Telecom
Two telecommunications companies, PCCW and Colt, have been conducting trials using blockchain technology to determine whether inter-carrier settlement times can be made “more efficient, reliable, and scalable”. Both these companies represent the International Division of Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) and claim to have developed blockchain technology for telecom, which would help to significantly reduce the time required to settle payments between different operators.
This new tamper-proof blockchain technology for telecom has been used in the past to power the Bitcoin network. Moreover, the use of this blockchain technology is not limited to the telecom sector. Blockchain experts believe that it will attract attention from other industries, particularly usages and applications in financial services and food security.
Here is what PCCW Global CEO, Mark Halbfinger had to say about this blockchain technology for telecom:
“Everyone is talking about blockchain but the use cases in the telecom industry have been fairly limited until now. We are eager to demonstrate how the many potential uses of blockchain across our industry can deliver exponential value by improving the ways in which we interoperate.”
Experimenting With Blockchain
The two parties have already worked with Blockchain startup Clear to test this blockchain technology for telecom. They assessed its usefulness for telecom and settled wholesale voice minutes, which take a lot more time for the traditional operators, relying upon similar processes. Although a large sum of money is involved in this process, most of the telecom operators still use a manual process for completing it. This manual process is not only inefficient, but also more complex, time consuming, and inefficient.
The proposed solution, to better handle this process, is to use a private, bilateral blockchain that will register transactions, and then report them to a public blockchain. Notably, test results indicated that processes which would usually take hundreds of hours to complete only took a few minutes. Furthermore, this approach could even automate settlement and verification.
The Proposed Proof-of-Concept
Reportedly, this proprietary Proof-of-Concept technology offers advanced cryptography, scalability enhancements, and multi-layer architecture. All these features, the companies claim, could help ensure security and suitability of blockchain technology for telecom industry.
While discussing this initiative, Colt CEO Carl Grivner said that his company aims to deliver a blockchain technology solution that offers greater agility with a customer-oriented approach. He also referred to blockchain as a “disruptive technology”, and said that it could “transform the way we conduct business in the telecom industry.”
IBM’s Work on Blockchain in Telecom
IBM is also working on the concept of introducing blockchain technology in telecom. The main areas of focus include the following:
- To streamline various internet processes which would help lower costs, offer faster throughput, and deliver a better overall experience
- Develop quality services for customers which are based on blockchain. These services would offer support in identity management, mobile money, and conducting digital asset transactions.
- To collaborate in business ecosystems for providing better trust, enhanced security, and more transparency.