Blockchain technology is continually evolving and is increasing opportunities for other industries like bank and finance, automotive, healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT), supply chain, and even telecommunication to advance with its secure network.
IoT adoption is growing as more people and businesses use interconnected devices for a central data-sharing network. In addition, telecom companies have been starting to invest in combining blockchain technology with smartphones to create a distributed model that would leverage blockchain technology to make cryptocurrency more accessible.
Let’s see how blockchain technology is changing the future of the telecom industry.
How is Blockchain Changing the Telecom Industry?
1. Number Portability
Number portability (NP) enables a mobile phone user to keep and continue using their number even if they switch networks or subscriptions, free of charge. Most countries use a centralized database model, while others use a distributed one.
What makes NP challenging is that there is no international standard. Communication service providers (CSP) could do information exchange directly; however, it became difficult and impossible for finance or value exchange transactions.
From the consumer’s point of view, their mobile number has become a primary digital or identifying asset that they wish to retain forever, especially if they use the number for several digital world transactions. In addition, users want to switch operators and subscriptions as they please without the fear of losing something that is theirs.
Blockchain technology allows data, value, and information exchange securely and transparently without the need for an intermediary. With smart contracts, the NP process can potentially become fully automated by enforcing service level agreements (SLA) and contract terms that the CSPs agree on between them. This will help complete the porting process quicker and secure a transparent value exchange like unpaid monthly bills, balances, and apportionment of charges or costs between operators.
2. UCC (Unsolicited Commercial Communication)
Unsolicited Commercial Communication is a major issue that the telecom industry is struggling with globally. UCC is any message transmitted to inform, solicit, or promote any commercial transaction relating to goods, investments, or services that a subscriber does not want to receive.
A specific regulatory board is a central body that manages commercial communication. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is seen as the solution to overcome problems, including data leaks, spam messages, law violations, and more.
Currently, the registry system regulates the day-to-day activities of its subscribers. However, it does not have traceability, enforceability, and penalization of violations. The overall vision is to bring all the participants together where the customer preference is taken care of, the exchange of information is seamless, and processes across systems are streamlined to reduce fraudulent activities.
3. Tower Sharing Management
The global telecommunication market is transforming into a digital, shared, and interconnected economy. Now we see telecom infrastructures as enabling and preventing the expansion of telecom services.
The role of regulators is to increase the mobile network coverage area within a particular geographical location and optimize the use of telecom infrastructure. To do that, regulators need the help and cooperation of telecom operators and infrastructure providers (or a tower company). Therefore, a tower-sharing agreement is required instead of having one tower per operator.
The tower company takes ownership of the infrastructure. It deals with performance and maintenance while the telecom operators agree with the tower company about using the tower on a fixed basis. However, there is a cost associated with re-planning existing networks in this structure. In addition, it requires a follow-up on operations, commercial agreements, and others.
The lack of uniform procedures, policies, implementation of central policies will be a challenge that can lead to longer lead-time in negotiation, delay in the onboarding process, and problems with reconciliation and settlement issues between tower companies & telecom operators.
Blockchain technology allows telecom operators to collaborate with tower companies more efficiently and build better working relationships. Here are some goals that blockchain technology can help achieve:
- Negotiation on terms & conditions
- Contract approvals & signatures that are captured digitally
- Timestamped workflow of contracts
- Commercial agreement
- Payment of fines and dues
- Template creation for other contracts and agreements
- E-trail of transactions
4. Blockchain Smartphones
Phones can now do everything from managing money, accessing your data, purchasing goods, and more. So, if a phone gets lost, blockchain technology intends to get to a point where buying a new phone is the only worry a user has instead of the contents of the stolen device.
While some security features are in place, like the auto-lock, to protect a smartphone, it isn’t enough to protect a user’s data.
Imagine that if all mobile phones were interconnected, security systems would operate more seamlessly and efficiently. Blockchain enthusiasts believe that a distributed system would allow blockchain-based technology to support distributed apps and provide added protection and security to a mobile user. Furthermore, these apps would be supported by blockchain technology and not private corporate servers.
Blockchain is Changing the Telecom Industry
Blockchain technology has already done so much for other industries like finance, healthcare, legal, and more; however, the opportunities for its use continue to grow. We realize the importance of the telecom industry, especially in today’s time, but the world will continue to change, and so should its technology.
Blockchain can help bring the telecom industry to new heights through different technology integrations. The future of the telecom industry is looking more advanced and secure than ever, thanks to blockchain technology.
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