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Enterprise Blockchain: How it will Change the Telecom Intercarrier Settlement Process

Enterprise Blockchain solution for telecom seems to be a promising development for the telecom industry as it strives to solve the challenges faced by Telcos in their settlement process. It is based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) which has attracted lot of attention in the recent time to offer a  way to record transactional data that should become a single source of truth to establish digital trust in the partnerships.

Why Telcos are looking at blockchain as a possible solution for partner settlement? Telecom network operators across the world gets into interconnect agreement which enable a seamless communication among their customers. These agreements are executed between domestic and international operators for mobile, fixed and internet services. Telecom operators collect and store detailed activity information as events. Interconnect partners share these CDRs for the purpose of verification and settlements. This process is cumbersome, inefficient, lengthy, costly, and error-prone. Missing CDRs and discrepancies in CDRs are very common problems.

As the interconnect revenue continues to decline it has become essential to address the blocked revenue due to disputes and to optimize the overall cost involved in resolving these discrepancies. The enterprise blockchain present a possibility that can make the settlement process error free and help the Telcos a faster and efficient access to the blocked revenue. Subex is actively working with multiple enterprise blockchain technologies to address the need.

Subex is chairing the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Special Interest Group (SIG) Intercarrier Settlement subgroup to develop DLT based solution for partner settlement process. The purpose of the Special Interest Group (SIG) is to help Telcos understand the key issues in partner settlement and offer possible solutions for the same. Subex has been a key contributor in creating the solution brief. The group has been successful in defining a solution based on Hyperledger Fabric developing a working PoC which is available for demonstration for those who are interested.

The proposed solution broadly addresses how a DLT-based solution can:

  • Converts the reactive dispute management process to more proactive process
  • Create a single source of truth, which allows network operators to access and verify billing and cross-charging data in real-time.
  • Reduce overall costs by replacing tedious processes, reducing dependency on intermediaries such as clearinghouses with simple, near real-time and error-free reconciliation and settlement process.
  • Help in evidence collection and fraud mitigation.

DLT has shown great potential in solving issues related to fraud, errors and creating a secure data source. Given the possibilities mentioned in the solution document, the likelihood of extending it as a full-fledged solution is very high which means faster dispute resolution, reduction in overall cost and an efficient partnership that will help Telcos embrace the new technologies and innovate their services as per the need of the market.

Link to access solution brief: Here

Link to the Hyperledger Blog: Here

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