As the telecommunication's industry approaches a new era of 5G and disruption, organizations need to focus on innovation and how to continue to compete in the industry.
In order to become more efficient and customer-friendly, many companies are looking for new technologies to help their business revitalize and prepare for future development; prepare for the inevitable interruption.
In terms of simplifying operations, unlocking new business models, and reducing operating costs, there is a technology that helps CSPs transform their business — blockchain.
The following are six aspects that blockchain will affect the telecommunication's industry:
1. Securing the future of 5G
5G will allow connected devices to be connected instantly without friction, and can be interconnected in a wider range. It is predicted that by 2022, two-thirds of the nearly 30 billion connected devices will be IoT devices, and 5G will undoubtedly play an important role.
However, to successfully implement 5G, there are still some shortcomings that need to be resolved, such as the current access network discovery and selection function system (responsible for selecting the most suitable access network for the device). The current system is centralized and prone to delays and network supply problems.
Through blockchain-based solutions, smart contracts can make supply seamless between the network and end users. By implementing dynamic rules and contracts on these networks, blockchain can also release discounted rates or better connections.
5G also has some security issues. To be securely implemented, the data received by the connected device must be credible and free from the intervention of malicious users.
In order to enable 5G to fully realize its potential and prevent large-scale security breaches, blockchain can ensure that data transmission is tamper-proof, decentralized, and verified in real time.
2. Ensure customer identity security
When a customer registers a new account with a telecommunications company, they must go through a registration process, which requires sharing and uploading sensitive personal information. However, storing customer information in a third party may expose customer information to the risk of inefficient management, fraud or hacker attacks.
Hacking attacks are happening all the time, such as the Equifax hack in 2017, or the recent disclosure of easyJet’s customer information. In response to potential user data leakage, some telecommunications networks are seeking to integrate blockchain, which means that customer identities are stored in a decentralized, tamper-proof ledger with no single point of failure, rather than a third party.
It is also a technology based on cryptography in essence, the core of which is immutable and unbreakable. This enables suppliers to enhance security while reducing legal costs and brand damage associated with data breaches.
3. Return control to the customer
Many telecom solution providers have begun to work on identity-as-a-service solutions powered by blockchain, which gave birth to the idea of self-sovereign identity. These solutions return control of consumers’ digital identities to them, while making the management of telecommunications companies easier and less intrusive.
This not only alleviates the provider’s storage problems, but also allows consumers to take back control of their online shared information; this has become an increasing priority for consumers in the face of large-scale data abuse scandals.
This self-sovereign identity transfer also provides telecommunications providers with a largely untapped source of income, which can provide their customers with “identity as a service” solutions. These solutions can also be provided to their network partners to create a more streamlined and more profitable relationship between them.
Communication service providers (CSPs) have large amounts of data, coupled with the popularity of smartphones, which means that CSPs are in a unique position as the main source of identity and verification services.
Customer service providers that take the lead in the game and take action may find that they are providing and managing blockchain-based identities. Customers can not only use these identities on them, but also on all their devices, applications, and Use these identities in the organization. This helps consumers reduce the hassle and privacy threats of identifying themselves to government agencies, banks and other businesses.
4. Automated data roaming
Currently, when customers leave the EU for travel, many intermediaries are involved in ensuring that they can access the mobile/data network. After checking the roaming information provided by the International Data Exchange (DCH) and the Financial Clearing House (FCH), the operator has already settled the roaming fees in advance.
This process causes a lot of time and money to be wasted on checking real-time usage history and adjusting errors through DCH and FCH. This is not only expensive and inefficient, but also an inconvenient experience for customers.
To solve this problem, some telecom providers are using blockchain to create smart contracts that can be executed without human intervention. Smart contracts can automatically trigger settlement in real time, allowing the settlement system to verify and confirm usage data, which is exchanged by mobile operators to provide roaming services to their customers. Then, if no errors are found during the verification process, it will settle the fee in real time.
Customers will benefit from a transparent automated experience, and companies can reduce costs and increase efficiency.
5. Simplify the automation of SLA
SLA (Service Level Agreement) is very important to the telecommunication's industry, but their monitoring efficiency is usually very low, and they are prone to delays and disputes. Many telecommunications organizations are investing in the automation of SLAs, although this may still involve manual processes.
To avoid this, some companies are using smart contracts on the blockchain to clarify the conditions of the SLA and make their monitoring more transparent. Not only that, but smart contracts also allow automatic payments after the agreed conditions are completed. For example, if a customer has no service for a period of time, they will automatically get a rebate without requiring a rebate.
6. Easy to carry mobile number
Although mobile number portability has been around for some time, it is often difficult to enforce. Disconnecting between providers who need or hold the necessary information to complete the transfer can make the process difficult and full of delays; this can frustrate the customer and delay the registration of the provider.
Telecom providers can use blockchain to speed up this process, using it as a network for all providers to access the same information. Blockchain technology can help ensure that this information is trustworthy and safe, so that network providers can provide seamless, cost-effective services to their customers.