PCCW Global and Colt Technology Services have collaborated with Clear, a blockchain start-up company, to demonstrate the viability of a blockchain-based wholesale trading system.
The objective of this proof of concept (PoC) was to ascertain if the advantages offered by blockchain technology could be applied to make inter-carrier settlements more efficient, reliable and scalable. The PoC was specifically focused on the settlement area of wholesale voice minutes, as the majority of telecom operators have similar processes for these transactions.
Today, despite the financial importance of these settlements to wholesale carriers, they still involve manual transactions which are costly for all parties. In the trial, the application of blockchain’s decentralized, cryptographically enforced, immutable ledger technology resulted in tens of thousands of call records being analyzed and settled in a few minutes.
Using blockchain technology, hundreds of hours of manual work were reduced to seconds of automated verification and settlement. Furthermore, blockchain technology adds an extra layer of security and trust to transactions in an industry where sensitive and proprietary information is frequently exchanged, fraud is rife, and dispute resolution can be lengthy and complex.
Both Colt and PCCW Global are members of the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF), where the PoC was conceived.
“Everyone is talking about blockchain but the use cases in the telecom industry have been fairly limited until now,” said Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global and the chairman of the GLF. “Whilst this deployment is currently only at the PoC stage, through our collaboration with Colt we are eager to demonstrate how the many potential uses of blockchain across our industry can deliver value by improving the ways in which we interoperate.”
Carl Grivner, CEO of Colt, added: “It is our goal to create a more agile, customer-oriented organization, and one way in which we are doing this is by exploring the benefits of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain. Collaborating with PCCW Global and Clear is ground breaking, as we have demonstrated how blockchain can transform the way we conduct business in the telecom industry.”