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Four major telcos collaborate for telecoms blockchain test


CBCCom, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Tata Communications are collaborating on a blockchain Proof of Concept (PoC). The PoC is for Bandwidth-on-Demand which is how telecoms companies buy bandwidth from each other for international services. The PoC plans to showcase the potential for next-generation communication services such as IoT, VR, and cloud.

What the PoC will do

The primary aim of the PoC is to demonstrate how inter-carrier bandwidth services can be discovered, quoted, delivered and settled without a central intermediary.

Some of the carriers and mobile operators already have on-demand services on their own network and infrastructure. But the inter-carrier operations are not yet automated and are currently done through conventional OSS and BSS. OSS is for how the operator runs their network and BSS is how a telco interacts with customers.

Today the systems of each telco don’t talk to other telcos because they don’t use the same information and data models. There’s also limited support for usage-based billing and settlement for multi-party, multi-dimensional products.

Two technology companies are providing the solution. Cataworx is providing an off-chain solution for pre-sales, quoting, and ordering, with settlement done on a blockchain. Clear Blockchain Technologies deals with invoicing, payments, disputes and settling.

Comments from key executives

Gal Hochberg, CEO of Clear Blockchain Technologies, said: “With a growing demand for cutting-edge technologies such as cloud, VR, or self-driving cars, telecom companies have an opportunity to unlock new revenue-generating opportunities by offering data on demand for fixed and mobile subscribers. The Bandwidth-on-Demand PoC is the first step towards a guaranteed and secured new internet layer enabling new connectivity for people and organizations wherever they are.”

Daniele Mancuso, Director Innovation & Engineering, Sparkle, said: “The ultimate goal of MEF3.0 is the creation of multiple ecosystems of interconnected Service Providers delivering their Customers with on-demand, certified, agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services. This PoC further raises the bar of the work that the Industry has done so far toward this direction.”

Richard Fung, CEO of China Broadband Communications (CBCcom), said: “These days, no company with an eye on global expansion can afford to ignore China. Demands for bandwidth is growing exponentially in China, e-commerce transactions, Smart Cities, IoT, AI, have all been a major driver of China’s digital economy. Our goal has always been to simplify the delivery of telecommunication services to help companies investing in China to do well. Likewise, China’s company going global, the Belt and Road initiative is also driving the demand for connectivity between China and rest of the world. I strongly believe the successful rollout of this PoC will offer great benefits for global business, and redefine inter-carrier processes.”

Other telecom initiatives

Clear is also working on another PoC with BT, HGC, Telefonica, and Telstra.

A month ago State-owned China Mobile announced its involvement in a Chinese initiative. There’s the Carrier Blockchain Study Group that includes SoftBank, Sprint, and at least eight other operators. And Sprint also announced it was working on a connected car project that includes blockchain.