Since blockchain has become more popular in recent years, there has been a lot of excitement (and some confusion) about how businesses in all industries can use this revolutionary technology to make their operations more efficient, protect their data, and find new ways to make money. But the benefits of blockchain development services may be more obvious in the financial field (faster transactions, lower costs), but some senior executives still don’t know about the compelling ways that blockchain can be used in Telecom and other fields.
As more real-world use cases and applications of blockchain appear, a lot of the marketing hype and false information about it are starting to die down. A 2019 survey by Deloitte, for example, found that 53% of executives said blockchain had become a top priority for their company (up 10 points from the previous year). Another 83% of businesses see a compelling use case for the technology. So, what do you think about using blockchain for Telecom?
Let’s Explore Use Cases of Blockchain Technology in Telecom!
As the telecom industry gets ready to enter the 5G era, which will bring the next wave of change, companies need to focus on innovation more than ever to stay relevant and competitive in this field.
The fifth generation of network technology will be able to connect an almost unimaginable number of cross-industry applications and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
By making blockchain technology the backbone of IoT connectivity, the telecom industry will be able to take advantage of new efficiencies, automation, cost savings, and a better customer experience. Let’s look at the top five ways that blockchain can be used in Telecom.
1. Identity Management
Identity management is one of the most obvious ways that blockchain can be used in Telecom. When customers sign up for new accounts, they have to go through a complicated process called “Know Your Customer” (KYC) that requires them to give or upload sensitive information.
This information is then kept by a third party, which puts it at risk of bad management, fraud, and even breaches or hacks, like the ones that happened to Adobe in 2013 and Equifax in 2017, where sensitive information about hundreds of millions of customers was stolen and made public.
If you combine blockchain with your existing telecom networks, this risk goes away because customer identities are no longer stored with a centralised third party but instead in a decentralised, unchangeable ledger that can’t be changed and has no single point of failure.
Not only can this new technology help telecom companies save money and make their customers safer, but it can also be used for identity management (identity-as-a-service).
Identity-as-a-service could be a big new way for telecom companies to make money in an industry that is getting more and more competitive and where companies regularly share customer data and customers have to give it to them all the time. This would help them come up with new ideas and move away from their main business model.
In this way, blockchain technology can also give customers a portable identity that lets them share data with the providers of their choice quickly, easily, and without having to go through tedious and repetitive processes.
2. 5G Enablement
Ericsson says that by 2022, two-thirds of the nearly 30 billion connected devices will be IoT devices. As we move closer to a new era of connectivity, 5G will make it possible for these devices to connect instantly and without any problems. They will also be able to talk to each other from farther away.
But for 5G to be used safely, the information these connected devices receive must be reliable and free of interference from bad actors. This calls for a technology that is safe, can’t be changed, is decentralised, is clear, and can automate the sending of information in real time.
Blockchain will help 5G reach its full potential by connecting all devices to a trusted source of data. It will give us security and peace of mind that self-driving cars won’t be taken over and run off the road, or that cardiac devices won’t be hacked and used to hold patients’ lives for ransom.
3. Roaming and Settling Down
Another clear use case for blockchain in telecom is roaming and settlements, which are currently slowed down by inefficiency, human error, and even fraud. For example, when a customer travels outside of the EU, many middlemen are needed to make sure they can connect to mobile/data networks. This makes it both inefficient and expensive, and it makes it very hard for the customer to use. Also, if you use roaming and have a problem with unexpected charges or paying your bills, it can often take months to get it fixed.
Using blockchain technology, telecom companies can make smart contracts that run without any help from a person. This makes for a smooth, automated experience. By cutting out the middlemen, customers get a more open service and companies save money and work more efficiently.
4. SLA Monitoring
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are very important to the telecom industry because they define the services provided to the customer in terms of technical capacity, quality parameters, rate reduction entitlements, etc. But, depending on how the agreement is read, SLA monitoring is often inefficient, slow, or the cause of a dispute.
For example, a customer may be able to get a discount if the provider doesn’t live up to the terms of the contract because the service was cut off or there was a lot of latency. Even though many Telecom companies have put money into automating SLAs, they often still need to do things by hand, which makes the delays worse.
Using smart contracts on the blockchain can clarify SLA terms and make the monitoring process more clear. It can also automate payments when the agreed-upon terms have been met. So, if a client is without service for a certain amount of time, they will automatically get a rebate without having to file a claim.
5. Changing a cell phone number (MNP)
Customers have been able to use MNP, which stands for “mobile number portability,” for a while now. But it’s a service that’s often hard to get and takes a long time. Most of the time, this is because there is a lack of communication between providers, who may hold or need more information to finish the transfer. This can make customers angry and cause service providers to have to wait longer to start working with new customers.
Smart contracts can speed up the MNP process in the same way that they can automate SLA monitoring and help settle roaming disputes. Blockchain can act as a single network where all providers can access the same information.
And because of how blockchain works, they can be sure that the information can’t be changed, can be checked, can’t be changed, and is reliable. This will make it possible for all network providers to work together in a way that is effective and saves money for the end user.
The Intended Result
You can expect fewer settlement disputes, lower costs for carriers, and processes that are easier to understand. As 5G comes out, we’ll need to be better prepared to handle exponentially growing data use and more data spread across hotspots and networks. Because blockchain is automated and efficient, there will be less need to outsource manual tasks. This will reduce the costs of the settlement process. In the end, blockchain can prevent the increased costs that the consumer would have to pay for otherwise.
Implementing a blockchain solution gives the first company to do so a competitive edge that will help telecom companies keep data connectivity available and affordable for consumers. It also provides the efficiency and transparency needed for better cross-network settlements in the industry.