Report charts how telcos are using blockchain to seize new revenue streams

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It’s early days but several telcos are implementing blockchain networks and offering solutions to enterprises, according to GlobalData.

Decoding the Blockchain Ecosystem for Telecoms: Value Chain, Players, and Telco Opportunities notes that although still emerging, blockchain is being driven by increasing demand for digital security along with government investments and the promise of reduced transactions time and costs.

Lorenzo Solazzo, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, commented, “The implementation of blockchain will support telcos’ digital services transformation to a more competitive, agile and customer-centric service provider.

Key areas in which blockchain can help telcos transforminclude roaming fraud management, wholesale fees settlement, mobile money payments and IoT management.”

Telcos are joining the development of blockchain use cases to enhance wholesale services, improve fraud management solutions and streamline internal processes.

Additionally, telecom operators can use blockchain technologies to enhance existing products, such as Internet of Things (IoT) services, as well as to expand their enterprise solutions portfolio and yield new revenue streams. Identity-as-a-service solutions are one option, for instance.

As a service

An increasing number of telcos – including Orange, Telefonica, BT and Colt – are partnering in pilot projects to use blockchain networks in order to increase the efficiency of wholesale fees settlement amongst operators.

The report highlights that several telcos have already started implementing blockchain networks and offering solutions to enterprises through partnerships with global cloud providers and other specialised ecosystem players, or through in-house solutions development.

AT&T, for instance, leverages IBM’s blockchain platform, Microsoft Azure’s blockchain technology and AWS’ managed blockchain suite for its BaaS solution offered to enterprises.

Solazzo said, “Wholesale fees such as interconnection rates or roaming charges are prone to discrepancies and can take more than 30 days to be settled, leaving operators vulnerable to currency fluctuations.

“A blockchain-powered platform including multi-lateral smart contracts amongst telcos enables faster settlements, saving time and the costs of the fee settlement process.

Furthermore, transactions are digitally auditable due to their unalterable capability, which enables faster dispute resolutions.”