Emerging Tech in telecom: Blockchain

Blockchain, a distributed ledger based on a peer-to-peer transaction, is the most disruptive technology of the contemporary world. Across multiple sectors, corporate and organisations are exploring its potential footprint in their respective space. The telecom industry is no such exception. Blockchain is now considered as an emerging tech in telecom space revolutionising the industry.

 What is in for the telecom sector?

The telecom sector thrives on innovation and constantly tries to provide seamless experience in highly dynamic market conditions. With digitisation coming to into play, coupled with decreasing revenues from voice and increasing costs due to exorbitant band-width demands, there is an emergency to reduce costs and look for new sources of revenue.  Since telcos are the infrastructure providers for the digital economy, they can leverage the value of this emerging tech in the telecom industry.

Blockchain brings in a shared ledger approach which provides trust, security, transparency and autonomy across every node participating in the network during a transaction. This results in reduced costs, speed and improved experience for all the players.

Identity management

At present, mobile user base in India stands at 1.2 million. The telcos spend a lot of time managing customer identities and profiles. Everything is tracked, right from usage to billing history. Therefore they are privy to a large amount of customer data. Since blockchain is simply a single version of truth, it provides foundation for a simplified identity management system. This will save a lot of time and help in fraud prevention.

Data Management

As a different source to revenue creation, telecoms can use the blockchain technology to provide data storage and verification services to its subscribers. For instance, they can assist a university to digitize and store student’s certificates on the blockchain. If an employer needs to verify a student’s credentials, the student can produce the digital certificate present on the blockchain and the employer will be assured of its authenticity.

Smart contract based payments

There have been multiple cases of mobile-bill defaulters. More than often, an individual seeks to default payment for use of roaming services, which sometimes are exorbitant. Managing charges associated with customer roaming requires managing numerous contracts and pricing plans.

Smart contract is software which stores an agreement and is executed automatically when it has verified the fulfilment of the mutually agreed conditions.  It can greatly simplify and secure financial transactions between operators and subscribers while keeping them in compliance with the contract.

There are a plethora of use-cases of this emerging tech in telecom space. Telecoms have a unique opportunity to leverage the technology and usher in the next era of digital services. Blockchain is well-suited to amplify the role of digital enablers in the hyper-connected world. This will provide for a competitive advantage to those who embrace it early.

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