Editor’s note: Click here for part 1of this three-part series on blockchain technology in the telecom industry.

Blockchain applications in the telecom industry

`1. Blockchain in fraud management

Revenue leakages and frauds are the results of the porosity of the traditional ecosystems, fraud loss was estimated close to $40 billion in 2017. Despite the partial “innovations”, the industry has not found a sustainable method to mitigate fraud.

Blockchain has fundamentals and high capacity to reduce, at least, two main types of frauds – roaming fraud and compromised identity.

Blockchain links a device to the user’s identity, leading to the case that, if a user’s identity is compromised, it can affect not just the device, but every service associated with the subscriber’s identity.

Blockchain eliminates the frauds by implementing a permissioned blockchain between every pair of operators that have a roaming agreement. Every time a subscriber triggers an event in a visiting network, a smart contract and the terms of the agreement between the roaming partners are executed. This allows instantaneous and verified authorization as well as settlement to occur in real-time – reducing drastically costs and frauds.

Global Survey 2016 (Neural Technologies). Telecoms operators face an estimated global average loss of 13% or $294bn* (USD) resulting from uncollected revenue and fraud.

2. Blockchain in identity management

Blockchain can help creating new sources of revenue by providing data management and identity authentication solutions to enhance operators’ users base. CSPs can utilize their relevant customer data to provide a dynamic platform for identity transactions (digital signature). Operators can develop identity management tools that are accessible to organizations, devices, and applications.

3. Sharing internet bundles

The blockchain technology allows content providers (such as YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion or Netflix….) to purchase data bundles and then providing that content to their registered users—facilitating them to avoid high-cost data charges. This use can case can also help friends or families sharing their internet bundles with each other.  

Blockchain has a big impact on the ‘shared economy’ concept as users will be able to reach and record shared transactions (internet or services bundles…) and organizations to share their resources without a controlling centralized authority.

4. Blockchain in revenue insurance

Telecom Frauds refer to the usage of telecom product or service without payment. It can be classified broadly into Revenue Fraud and Non-Revenue Fraud. Telecom Frauds can be also divided into Usage Frauds (like misusing another subscriber’ service, Conference and Call Forwarding Frauds, running unauthorized Private Exchange and technical frauds like By-passing networks. …)  and subscription frauds (like Activation Fraud, unauthorized operations on customer account, subscriber data anomaly between network elements and billing, etc.).

Revenue Assurance system role is not only to track and identify discrepancies in usage as reported by OSS/BSS systems but also to ensure that usage is billed at appropriate rates. The Revenue Assurance system must be able to validate charges against rates and inventory of installed/activated equipment, leased facilities, and circuits. This requires a sophisticated rating technology that is able to accommodate a wide variety of charging models and do so with ease.

The blockchain ledger trending technology plays a role in the revenue insurance. Blockchain technology can be used to help design more leakage proof, efficient and real-time neurology for SDN/NFV, SLA Management, Storage Management, Real-time revenue recognition, Fraud detection, Convergence, and many more.

5. Blockchain in support for 5G network

Smart contracts, which are one of the core functionalities of blockchain technology, are used to automatically execute rules and agreements between access points and allow real-time availability of network resources. Network provisioning rules and real-time processing are the current issues being faced that need to be addressed before mass adoption of 5th Generation Networks.

The blockchain platform enables a new generation of access technology and network selection management. It supports the enablement of 5G network potential and provides a common platform with seamless connectivity. The 3GPP and non-3GPP can be implemented using the blockchain network and Operators can provide device connection to multiple local hotspots and Wi-Fi based on permission. With the demand for enhancements in telecom network and implementation of 5G network, the connectivity provisioning network is expected to grow at a highest CAGR.

6. Blockchain in number portability

The processes such as OSS (Operation Support System) and BSS processes (Business Support System) or such as number portability and billing databases can be streamlined using blockchain. The groups can validate number portability (and billing) without hassle. This is possible with the help of an intercompany blockchain shared among customers, VAS providers, VPMN (Visited Public Mobile Network), HPMN (Home Public Mobile Network) and telecom companies.

Also, a migrating customer can be quickly on-boarded on the network after receiving a porting request, if receiving operator shares blockchain with porting customer’s operator.

Editor’s note: Check back in tomorrow for part three of this three-part series. 



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