The Future of Roaming: How Blockchain Improves Transparency, Security and Efficiency in the Telecom Industry

Paris Dufrayer, CRO
February 21, 2023

In recent years, blockchain technology has been widely discussed and promoted as a game-changing technology with the potential to disrupt various industries. As the technology is still young and evolving, decision-makers in various industries, including telecom operators, are exploring its potential use cases and proofs-of-concept.

Blockchain technology offers various advantages for telecom operators, including security, transparency, data immutability, and control across the ecosystem at every point of transaction. One of the areas where blockchain can be particularly useful for telecom operators is in tackling roaming challenges.

Roaming partner settlements are currently controlled by intermediaries and issues can last up to two months. This structure often results in human errors, lack of transparency, fraud, and poor customer experience. 

By using blockchain technology can lead to a series of benefits for telecom providers that may include:

  • Removing Intermediaries: Smart contracts on the blockchain can automate Service Level Agreement (SLA) agreements, providing transparency to all stakeholders and aiding in quick dispute resolution through tamper-proof verifiable transactions and real-time usage updates to the end consumer.

  • Roaming Fraud Prevention: Blockchain combined with smart contracts can reduce roaming fraud and improve ID management by automating processes. Currently, users have to provide a lot of personal information to sign up for different vendors and services. With blockchain, a shared ledger can store identity transactions creating a digital identity using the public key from the digital identity and creates a set of standard fields, such as names, addresses, etc. Finally, the CSP adds a digital signature using its private key.

  • Reducing Location Inaccuracy: A mobile terminal network localization method using blockchain technology can reduce inaccuracies in locating mobile terminals and verifying the authenticity of location broadcasts when GPS signals are weak.

  • Clearing the way for IoT: Blockchain technology can improve the security and efficiency of Internet of Things (IoT) networks by enabling secure, error-free peer-to-peer connectivity for multiple devices, and providing a secure way to inspect and track changes to data within a company's network. 

  • Usage of Connectivity Passports for every customer: The management of customers is a major challenge for Telcos due to the high frequency of changes in operating models and service providers. Using a blockchain-powered connectivity passport, customers could share their information consensually, allowing Telcos to create personalized services and boost margins. Furthermore, actual usage data can then be shared with each network for accurate billing.

  • Better Collaboration: The consortium model using blockchain can improve collaboration among stakeholders by efficiently executing multiple business transactions. In the Telco ecosystem, it can help Communication Service Providers connect with other operators, partners and suppliers for better customer experience.

  • 5G Facilitation: The implementation of 5G technology can benefit from the use of blockchain to streamline processes and enable a new generation mechanism for selecting the fastest access node for each user or machine, which is important for building sustainable solutions.

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the way telecom operators handle roaming challenges. By using smart contracts on the blockchain, it is possible to reduce and even eliminate intermediaries, leading to roaming fraud reduction, cost savings, and instant settlements. Additionally, blockchain technology can optimize ID management through automated processes which can provide more accurate location data.

To know more about Blockchain's role in improving roaming for Telco industry, please download our free ebook ¨The Digitalization of Telco: Can Blockchain Help with Roaming Challenges?¨.