Blockchain technology could transform or alter how businesses operate in nearly every sector. According to a report released by a renowned market research firm, blockchain technology in the telecom industry is predicted to expand by a staggering amount, from 46.6 million as of 2018 and 993.8 million by the year 2023 with a Compound Annual Growth rate (CAGR) in the range of 84.4 percent over the forecast time.
What Is Blockchain?
Before we go into the in-depth details about what your business can benefit from blockchain technology, it’s important to know the basics of Blockchain and the reasons companies may choose to utilize it.
The term “blockchain” first became popular in 2008 when it was used to describe an electronic ledger distributed to financial records. At first, the Blockchain was utilized to securely monitor crypto transactions by storing and collecting the real-time information of any changes to the ledger.
In contrast to traditional systems, which operate through a central database with one authority point, Blockchain technology utilizes a distributed ledger that grows as time passes.
Once data is added to the Blockchain, the Blockchain is always there. Anyone with access to the Blockchain can see every update via a continuously updated ledger synchronized across the dedicated peer-to-peer network.
Why Do Telecom Companies Need Blockchain?
Although blockchain technology is a great tool for areas such as the finance industry and control of the supply chain, the majority of telecom companies aren’t yet able to grasp the full impact of this latest technology.
Most Technology Media and Telecom (TMT) companies depend on intricate partnerships with third-party providers to offer high-quality and comprehensive solutions to customers.
A blockchain is a great option when we are thinking about creating reliable and transparent systems that users can trust. One of the main advantages of blockchain technology for TMT businesses include:
Processing and tracking direct payments made between third-party companies:
Blockchain can help telecom companies stay up-to-date with transactions, avoid double payments, and archive old information.
I am managing and transacting licensing agreements, assets, and intellectual property. Digital ledgers decentralized in nature allow telecommunication companies to establish professional connections with service providers and B2B customers.
They are profiting from R&D tax credits:
Many businesses actively involved in developing cutting-edge blockchain technologies may be qualified to receive the R&D tax credit.
Self-executing protocols with smart contracts:
Businesses can use blockchain technologies to automate invoices and refunds, contract renewals, contracts, and many more. Smart contracts speed up outdated processes, eliminate errors, and reduce dependence on intermediaries.
Blockchain is used in the telecom industry
Identity management one of the most evident examples of blockchain-based applications for Telecom can be identification management. When customers sign up for new accounts, they are required to go through the cumbersome “Know Your Customer” (KYC) procedure that involves the transfer of sensitive data.
This information is then stored by a third party which puts it at risk of improper control, fraud, or even hacks or breaches like the case of Adobe the year 2013 and Equifax in 2017, where hundreds of millions of customers’ sensitive information were stolen and made public.
Integrating blockchain technology into existing Telecom networks will reduce the risk of identity theft since customer data will no longer be stored in an uncontrolled third party but instead in a decentralized, tamperproof, immutable ledger with one fault point.
Not only can Telecom providers reduce costs and enhance customer security, but this revolutionary technology also gives rise to a blockchain identity management use case (identity-as-a-service).
In an increasingly competitive industry where providers regularly exchange data and customers continually need to provide it, offering identity-as-a-service could be a new and major revenue stream for Telecom providers, helping them to innovate and diversify from their core business model.
In this manner, blockchain technology can offer customers a portable identification that allows them to share information with providers of their choice swiftly, easily and effortlessly, without having to go through lengthy and tedious procedures.
1: 5G Enablement
According to a report from Ericsson, in the year 2022, 2/3 of all connected machines will turn out to be IoT devices. As we enter the dawn of a new age of connectivity 5G will enable these devices to communicate quickly and without hassle, free from the current latency issue. They are also able to connect to a wider range of networks.
For 5G to be safe to use and secure, the data received by these devices should be reliable and not be subject to the influence of criminals. This calls for technology that is secure, safe from tampering, decentralized, transparent, and allows data transmission to be automatized in real-time.
Blockchain can help 5G realize its full potential by being the reliable information source connecting all devices.
Blockchain can provide security and assurance that we won’t have autonomous vehicles suddenly hijacked and thrown off the road, heart devices breached, and patients’ lives locked up for ransom.
2: Roaming and Settlements
Another well-defined use case for Blockchain in Telecom concerns settlements and roaming, which are currently hindered by human error, inefficiencies, or even fraud. When traveling beyond the EU, for instance, numerous intermediaries are involved in ensuring that a user has access to data and mobile networks.
This is expensive and inefficient and creates an uncomfortable user experience. Furthermore, issues that arise from sudden charges or the payment of bills when roaming services can take a long time to settle.
With the help of blockchain technology, telecom companies can develop smart contracts that can be executed without human intervention, allowing an automated and seamless experience. Customers enjoy a more transparent service, and businesses can reduce costs and improve efficiency by eliminating middlemen.
3: SLA Monitoring
SLA (Service Level Agreements) are crucial for the Telecom sector because they define the service provided to customers regarding technical capacity, quality parameters, and entitlements to reduce rates and others. Yet, SLA monitoring is often affected by delays, inefficiencies, and disputes based on how the agreement is understood.
A customer, for instance, could be entitled to receive a discount should the service provider not meet the terms of the contract because of an interruption to service or an issue with high latency.
Although numerous Telecom companies have invested in automating SLAs, there is often the need for manual processes that can cause delays.
Utilizing smart contracts based on blockchain technology can not only provide clarity to SLA requirements and help make the monitoring process more transparent but also enable payments to be automated after the completion of the agreed-upon conditions.
For instance, when a customer is not receiving service for a specific amount of time, then they’ll receive the amount they owe without having to submit an appeal.
4: Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
MNP is a mobile phone number. (MNP) has been accessible to consumers for a few years already. But it’s a process that is frequently fraught with problems and delays.
It’s typically due to an incompatibility between the providers who might have or require additional information to complete the transaction. This could cause customer frustration and delay service providers’ onboarding process.
As smart contracts can help automate SLA monitoring and help resolve disputes over roaming, they can help speed up the MNP process. Blockchain could act as a single network allowing all providers to access the same data.
In addition, due to the inherent nature of blockchain technology, it is possible to be certain that the data is unalterable, auditable, tamperproof, and secure. This allows the various network providers to collaborate efficiently and effectively, with significant cost savings and benefits for the end-user.
In this article, we’ve discussed creative ways blockchain technology can work with telecom services. There’s a lot of potential for creating innovative and novel methods that simplify processes while also ensuring the integrity and security of transactions.