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Telefonica Pilots Telecom Blockchain Access with 8,000 Spanish Firms

The Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica recently reported it will launch a new partnership with the local Association of Science and Technology Parks (APTE) to grant 8,000 Spanish firms access to its blockchain.

According to Telefonica, the initiative will deploy nodes of its Hyper-ledger-based blockchain at APTE’s 52 sites across Spain for a three-month testing period. During this time, the firms will have the opportunity to develop applications on the network and experiment with their own tokens.

In November 2018, Telefonica partnered with IT giant IBM to apply blockchain technology to international mobile phone traffic, and in April 2019 launched its Cloud Garden service which it leveraged in the launch of its new initiative. Telecom has many use cases for the implementation of blockchain technology in order to improve its use and management, including:

Improved Internal Processes

Using blockchain, OSS and BSS processes, such as billing and number portability databases, can be streamlined. Also noteworthy would be the ease of migration for new customers if the operator receiving a porting request shares blockchain with the porting customer’s operator.

Digital Identity Verification

Blockchain can establish a secure record of identities for people, asset and personal devices, as well as connect IoT endpoints such as sensors. This would enable embedded 'truths' in networks, which can be used to reduce fraud and strengthen trust between transacting parties.

Mobile Money

Using digital identity, a blockchain can register every interaction with an asset wherever and whenever it occurs. De Beers has already begun using a blockchain to track individual diamonds. Similarly, blockchain enables cost-effective international remittances with very minimal transaction charges, paving the way for Telecom operators to become global remittance providers.

As today's telecom industry faces eroding margins and rising costs, there's a growing call for telecom providers to innovate. With projects like QLINK, Telecoin, and BubbleTone leading the way, blockchain technology has the potential to transform an age-old sector to provide people and businesses with improved telecom services. Many argue that blockchain is the right tool, to not only bring in service efficiencies and innovation but also keep fraudulent practices in check.