Can Blockchain Disrupt Telecom? Colt, PCCW and Clear Join Forces to Find Out

The three firms have demonstrated a proof of concept to make certain industry practices faster and more secure.

Colt Technology Services, a multinational telecommunications firm, and Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) Global have joined forces with blockchain startup Clear to develop a proof of concept (PoC) involving blockchain technology.

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According to MondoVisione, the PoC demonstrated that blockchain can be used to reduce the amount of time needed for inter-carrier voice minute settlements from hundreds of hours to just a few minutes. The PoC involved the implementation of a bilateral blockchain that recorded and reported transactions to a public blockchain. Smart contracts were used to resolve disputes, record settlement transactions, and rate call detail records.

The PoC was demonstrated on two separate occasions, the first of which took place at the Pacific Telecommunications Council annual conference earlier this year. When tested, the PoC developed by these three firms resulted in tens of thousands of call records being analyzed and settled within the space of a few minutes.

If the transactions were processed according to current industry practices, the operation would have taken weeks or even months to complete.

Indeed, “current industry practices” involve these types of settlements being carried out using manual transactions. This is particularly surprising because of the financial importance of the settlements to phone carrier companies and the high costs associated with manual work.

Speed and Security

In addition to making the process much speedier, using blockchain to settle these kinds of transactions makes the process more secure. This is especially important when you consider the sensitive nature of the information being exchanged in this industry.

The immutable nature of blockchain technology is also particularly well-suited to these kinds of transactions because, as MondoVisione reported, the industry is “rife” with fraud. Additionally, “dispute resolution can be lengthy and complex.” The application of blockchain technology will ensure clarity in record-keeping.

“It is exciting for any business to create something that has the power to truly innovate how an entire industry operates. This PoC marks the beginning of how blockchain is set to revolutionize the telecom sector,” said Gal Hochberg, Chief Executive Officer of Clear.

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