Today, telecoms firm Syniverse published research on how the connectivity enabled by the 5G network is affecting mobile operators. One of its key findings is that companies are beginning to focus on enterprises which will allow Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and blockchain-based payments.
Syniverse previously teamed up with IBM and Orange for a billing system based on blockchain. It surveyed global telecoms operators on 5G and today released analysis based on US responses. Like Orange, 87% of them plan to implement blockchain for billing, settlement, or contract management, the survey found.
The technology could streamline multi-party billing and real-time transactions, which are predicted to go hand in hand with 5G-enabled connectivity. Most respondents (73%) agreed that coordinating the multiple parties is the most difficult challenge 5G will bring.
“Whether it’s a connected car or connected factory, adding new enterprise players and partners will create a complex web of fiscal responsibility,” today’s statement explained. These IoT enabled objects will indeed require business to business collaboration. As Syniverse discovered, 60% of US mobile operators are moving their focus to enterprise use cases.
While the vast majority intend to use blockchain to manage this ‘complex web’, only 13% say their current systems support multi-party payments. Most (53%) are not even sure what the technical requirements will be. This suggests that operators see the potential of blockchain as a solution but don’t know how to implement it.
They agree that blockchain could bring improvements such as security and immutability of transactions (87%), onboarding (83%), contracting (73%), and allocation of revenue (73%). Syniverse’s findings support the current wave of projects linking the technology to IoT.
For example, KT (previously Korea Telecom) launched a 5G blockchain network to secure IoT devices. It later revealed the blockchain would be used in a service for securing connected devices. Fellow mobile operators in the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), including Sprint, are working on blockchain mobile payments. Deutsche Telekom’s tech arm, T-Labs, founded the Convergence Alliance with Jaguar and SAP for developing standards and gaining value from the combination of technologies.