Telecom service provider Syniverse and IBM have developed a blockchain platform for multi-party billing and payments. Syniverse officially launched its blockchain solution Universal Commerce, which is compliant with the new GSMA standards for billing and charging processes.
Currently, telecom firms have to reconcile usage data for services used by their customers while roaming with exceptions processed relatively manually. A process that is already challenging is set to become more complex as 5G and IoT bring newer business models, which may further complicate things. One example is providing enhanced mobile broadband at major events such as football matches. A venue owner might enable multiple streams inside the stadium. Sharing of data and billing between all the parties is the challenge. While this is a consumer application, another example is for autonomous cars.
Blockchain Technology in particular has emerged as a critical technology to manage this connectivity, opening a new era in the efficiency, transparency and security of the world’s transactions.
Syniverse has been steadily making investments in the blockchain technology in parallel with the explosion in connected networks and devices, growth of new connecting technologies like 5G, IOT and rising expectation for the security and authentication of online transactions by businesses and consumers.
Syinverse has initially validated the blockchain solution by working with the IBM Garage to design and build a pilot using the IBM Blockchain Platform, and together they have developed a proof of concept with two Tier 1 international telecommunication companies last year.
In continuing the work on that proof of concept, Syniverse, along with several customers, evaluated the benefits of the new GSMA standard in combination with blockchain technology and applied the lessons learned from the previous trials in this latest Universal Commerce version.
A study by Syniverse showed that 5G is encouraging 60% of U.S. mobile telecoms firms to shift their focus towards enterprise. About 90% of the respondents were concerned about the practicality of billing and payments. By leveraging blockchain, Syniverse aims to address the needs of interconnected networks and multi-party transactions by providing accurate data.
With blockchain as the only source of truth, reconciliation should all but disappear, and disputes avoided. The Syniverse Universal Commerce platform is available to use by any mobile operator as well as other partners and will automate a majority of billing processes. Blockchain smart contracts has made the automation possible. The smart contracts will define rules and commercial arrangements of each type of transaction between partners.
With Blockchain Technology in its core, Syniverse Universal Commerce is the next evolution in clearing and settlement of transactions in Telecom industry.