Blockchain technology can transform the telecom Industry
The term “blockchain” is usually associated with Bitcoins and to the cryptocurrency world, but this is a highly restricted outlook.
In fact, we are used to thinking of blockchains as a technology used to generate and distribute virtual currency, essentially a view promoted by traditional media sources.
In reality, blockchains are an extremely interesting technology, with a wide range of practical applications, unconnected to cryptocurrencies. For example, it has been hypothesized to use this technology in China to fight tax evasion.
Unfortunately, as we mentioned above, the general public are unfamiliar with this technology, and that’s why recently an infographic has been diffused in China to increase awareness of practical uses of blockchains.
If you want to find out more, click here.
So this implies that we ought not to think about blockchains as we have to date, but rather about their huge potential and implementation possibilities.
In particular, they could be vital in all those sectors involved in data elaboration, such as telecommunications for example.
Let’s see how.
Blockchains taking over from SIM cards, which are obsolete at this point
The telecommunications sector continues to rely on a technology which is now obsolete: SIM cards (Subscriber Identity Module) which were developed in long-ago 1991.
It’s true that today they are slowly being replaced with eSIMs, but it is equally true that this a less than innovative solution.
For this very reason, several telecommunications companies are investing in blockchains to deal with data in a safer and more efficient manner.
Indeed safety and data protection are two fundamentally important aspects both for industry players and end users.
Overcoming roaming issues with blockchains
Roaming is an issue for users, who are forced to deal with additional costs when they travel, either for work or for pleasure, to a foreign country.
Several businesses, including IBM, are studying solutions to this problem using blockchain technology.
Bubbletone has an interesting project underway. They are the primary platform for decentralised global telecommunications which permits mobile network operators and service suppliers to interact directly and safely, whilst avoiding any form of integration or complex mediation.
The goal is to create a global platform which permits access to local services without oncosts, via the individual’s SIM, thus overcoming the roaming issue.
More privacy for users
Respect for online privacy is a big issue nowadays, especially after the various scandals involving Facebook and other high profile global businesses.
Social networks are unable to guarantee data protection for registered users, indeed, in many instances they actually sell the data to third parties, despite efforts to integrate diverse technologies within the platforms, such as end-to-end encryption used in Whatsapp, Telegram and other IM apps.
However, blockchains take the privacy conversation to a whole new level. Private keys do not permit third parties to access anyone else’s messages, making user activity absolutely invisible and thus protected.
Using blockchains for exchanging unused data
One of the biggest defects of current phone plans is the expiration of data included in the package to users.
For example, giga non used during the month or week are simply lost in many companies’ plans. If the data just can’t be used by the single user, it would be useful to be able to share that data with the network for everyone's benefit.
Blockchains would allow this to happen, permitting users to share the unused data in private exchanges.
Blockchains for safe payments
Smartphone payments are now commonplace in most of the world, and the signs are that this will increase in coming years.
As ever, the biggest worry for users and operators is data safety and management system vulnerabilities in handling transactions.
Blockchains could be adopted in this field too, creating a safer data exchange system both for buyers and sellers.
The technology at the basis of blockchains has considerable potential, but in order to release that potential operator resistance needs to be overcome, and above all, user resistance, regards more sophisticated and complex technologies.
Teleco businesses need to work on this aspect, in order to implement blockchains thus improving network safety, data exchange, online payments, thus revolutionising the entire sector.