Syniverse, a telecommunications technology company owned by private equity company The Carlyle Group, has been working with IBM on a blockchain roaming solution to enable billing between telecoms providers. The successful pilot involved French telecoms company Orange and Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) Russia.
As users move around, mobile providers bill each other for the roaming usage by customers. In the Syniverse and IBM pilot, smart contracts are used to establish the rules for transactions between telecoms providers. The solution aims to create greater efficiencies and make it easier to deal with dispute management. Generally roaming billing involves a lot of reconciliation, but by sharing data, this should be reduced.
“With the growth of today’s interconnected networks and emerging online technologies, the future of clearing and settlement lies in the ability to securely clear and monetize any type of connected transaction, whether it’s for roaming, the internet of things, or any other process,” said Dennis Meurs, VP and General Manager, Transaction and Clearing Services, Syniverse.
“In collaboration with IBM, we’ve integrated the power of blockchain to design a pilot that addresses several business challenges, and a solution that builds on Syniverse’s 30-year-plus history of solving clearing and settlement challenges in the mobile ecosystem.”
MTS Russia said it made the clearing and settlement process more efficient. Using smart contracts, the solution enabled the telecoms company to create, validate and view all partner agreements.
Many blockchain solutions rely on standards. The pilot used the GSMA Unified Data Record (UDR) standard, which is used for settlements. Every time a call is made, it contains details about call duration, time of the call and the number that was called. The standard is designed to support the proliferation of devices using 5G networks and IoT.
IBM is also working with Telefónica for international mobile call billing. The Spanish telecoms giant was previously part of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group which includes 14 significant telecoms carriers such as SoftBank, Sprint, and KT. In China, the major telecoms companies are collaborating in the Trusted Blockchain Telecom Application Group.