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The new call roaming projects demonstrate the disruptive character of Blockchain

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By Bernard Schwab

Oracle

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My area of ​​expertise is the communications sector and my current interest is blockchain, the distributed registry technology that can be used to validate transactions between trusted partners. It is important to understand that despite an apparent break after the outbreak of clamor around Bitcoin, blockchain has been quietly making its way into a variety of work environments.

Communications may not be the first area you think about when it comes to blockchain. But technology is poised to play a significant role in the telecommunications sector, particularly in roaming, transferring a call or a data session from one network provider to another.

Roaming is a seemingly easy process, hidden behind the scenes, which is smoothed between carriers for many years through industry-accepted procedures, service level agreements and detailed transaction rates. The expenses are high and every player in the industry earns money along the way. Consumers, as always, end up withdrawing the bill.

Oracle

The number of roaming devices is set to explode like the use of Internet of things technology enters the world of business and private life. For example, our cars are now equipped with communication modules to be used in an emergency. I live in Germany and the communication chip of my car contacts a local company after another while I drive through several countries to go on holiday in the south of France. The same would be true if the tablet with which they are traveling had an integrated GSM module.

The roaming process generates an enormous amount of data. Managers maintain lists of their roaming calls or data sessions and provide such lists daily to the clearing houses specialized in reconciling the transactions represented therein. A clearing house then sends the transaction data reconciled to the roaming service provider, who invoices the original courier. And that transaction comes as part of the phone bill, a month or two later.

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If, for any reason, a line item on the long list of roaming provider is incomplete or missing some crucial points needed to calculate billing, the parties must go through the process in reverse. The clearinghouse sends the data file back to the roaming provider, marking it as incomplete. The provider must look up the data, correct the incomplete or incorrect element and send the data file back to the clearinghouse for reconciliation.

Such errors cost time and money to rectify, in a process that is already complicated and takes a long time. If carriers could reduce one of these great efforts, they would save considerable savings of money that could be passed on to consumers.

The disintegrators

One of the most convincing features of blockchain technology is to maintain a historical record of transaction data through a network of distributed servers: once something is in the blockchain, it is very difficult to tamper with it without detecting it. This means that blockchain could be used in roaming to validate the accuracy of files transitioning through the system, reducing redundant work and adding a little more trust to the existing process.

But what if the telecommunications industry could use the blockchain to completely replace its vast roaming process? To this end, two new projects intend to use blockchain to eliminate clearinghouse intermediaries, allowing the main parties to interact directly with each other.

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As widely reported, KT, South Korea's largest telecommunications operator, has created a blockchain network to reconcile roaming data in real time. The blockchain register verifies the participants in a roaming transaction, records the data and initiates the payment once completed.

KT collaborates with China Mobile (900 million mobile customers) and the Japanese mobile communications giant NTT Docomo. The partners plan to test the blockchain network between them, so KT will open it for the participation of other international carriers, possibly by the end of the year.

KT's effort to simplify the roaming process is impressive and challenging. & Nbsp; Partners must agree on which data they need to exchange and in what format and how payments will flow between them. KT says its blockchain network can already handle 2,500 transactions per second and will be raised to 10,000 TPS by the end of this year and 100,000 TPS by the end of 2019.

The KT roaming system is the first of many blockchain-based applications that the manager intends to offer, including energy trading and cryptocurrency.

Representing more than one interruption of the status quo could be the startup & nbsp;Roaming and reconciliation system based on Bubbletone blockhouse, now under development. Bubbletone plans to offer a mobile app that customers who call or send text messages from a foreign country can use to connect with the available local carriers.

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The Bubbletone app will function like many of the current e-commerce apps: the user deposits money upfront on the app to immediately and directly pay for roaming services; and the app provides a list of local service providers and what it charges so that the user can choose the least expensive option. When a connection is established with a local supplier, the blockchain creates a "smart contract" between the user, the designated carrier and the national courier of the user who verifies the identities, creates a service record and reconciles the payment.

Bubbletone aims to stand out in the telecommunications sector as its list of potential service providers will include mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which purchase network services from carriers and offer them virtually, often at much lower rates. Today roaming phones only connect to the networks of the main operators.

Under pressure

Telecommunications carriers all over the world are subjected to strong competitive pressure. They are looking for new sources of income, for example by linking more offers of partners in their bundles of services, or exploring opportunities that take advantage of the Internet of Things and cloud computing.

Whether the model is business-to-consumer, business-to-business or machine-to-machine, these new opportunities represent increasingly rapid data exchanges that require an increase in trust between partners. A secure and protected blockchain registry technology can be a key component of these partnerships and other industries.

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Bernard Schwab is director of solutions for the global communications industry in Oracle. He has worked in the field since 1985, first as an engineer at the time of ISDN. Since joining Oracle in 1999, Schwab has taken on several roles, including sales, business operations and post-merger integration. It is based in Hamburg, Germany.

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By Bernard Schwab

Oracle

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER ADVERTISING

My area of ​​expertise is the communications industry and my current interest is blockchain, the distributed registry technology that can be used to validate transactions between trusted partners. It is important to understand that despite an apparent break after the outbreak of clamor around Bitcoin, blockchain has been quietly making its way into a variety of work environments.

Communications may not be the first area you think about when it comes to blockchain. But technology is poised to play a significant role in the telecommunications sector, particularly in roaming, transferring a call or a data session from one network provider to another.

Roaming is a seemingly easy process, hidden behind the scenes, which is smoothed between carriers for many years through industry-accepted procedures, service level agreements and detailed transaction rates. The expenses are high and every player in the industry earns money along the way. Consumers, as always, end up withdrawing the bill.

Oracle

The number of roaming devices is bound to explode when the use of Internet of Things technology enters the daily life of a company and the private sector. For example, our cars are now equipped with communication modules to be used in an emergency. I live in Germany and the communication chip of my car contacts a local company after another while I drive through several countries to go on holiday in the south of France. The same would be true if the tablet with which they are traveling had an integrated GSM module.

The roaming process generates an enormous amount of data. Managers maintain lists of their roaming calls or data sessions and provide such lists daily to the clearing houses specialized in reconciling the transactions represented therein. A clearing house then sends the transaction data reconciled to the roaming service provider, who invoices the original courier. And that transaction comes as part of the phone bill, a month or two later.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER ADVERTISING

If, for any reason, a line item on the long list of roaming provider is incomplete or missing some crucial points needed to calculate billing, the parties must go through the process in reverse. The clearinghouse sends the data file back to the roaming provider, marking it as incomplete. The provider must look up the data, correct the incomplete or incorrect element and send the data file back to the clearinghouse for reconciliation.

Such errors cost time and money to rectify, in a process that is already complicated and takes a long time. If carriers could reduce one of these great efforts, they would save considerable savings of money that could be passed on to consumers.

The disintegrators

One of the most convincing features of blockchain technology is to maintain a historical record of transaction data through a network of distributed servers: once something is in the blockchain, it is very difficult to tamper with it without detecting it. This means that blockchain could be used in roaming to validate the accuracy of files transitioning through the system, reducing redundant work and adding a little more trust to the existing process.

But what if the telecommunications industry could use the blockchain to completely replace its vast roaming process? To this end, two new projects intend to use blockchain to eliminate clearinghouse intermediaries, allowing the main parties to interact directly with each other.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER ADVERTISING

As widely reported, KT, South Korea's largest telecommunications operator, has created a blockchain network to reconcile roaming data in real time. The blockchain register verifies the participants in a roaming transaction, records the data and initiates the payment once completed.

KT collaborates with China Mobile (900 million mobile customers) and the Japanese mobile communications giant NTT Docomo. The partners plan to test the blockchain network between them, so KT will open it for the participation of other international carriers, possibly by the end of the year.

KT's effort to simplify the roaming process is impressive and challenging. Partners must agree on which data they need to exchange and in what format and how payments will flow between them. KT says its blockchain network can already handle 2,500 transactions per second and will be raised to 10,000 TPS by the end of this year and 100,000 TPS by the end of 2019.

The KT roaming system is the first of many blockchain-based applications that the manager intends to offer, including energy trading and cryptocurrency.

To represent a further obstacle to the status quo could be the launch of the roaming and reconciliation system based on blockhouse Bubbletone, now under development. Bubbletone plans to offer a mobile app that customers who call or send text messages from a foreign country can use to connect with the available local carriers.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER ADVERTISING

The Bubbletone app will function like many of the current e-commerce apps: the user deposits money upfront on the app to immediately and directly pay for roaming services; and the app provides a list of local service providers and what it charges so that the user can choose the least expensive option. When a connection is established with a local supplier, the blockchain creates a "smart contract" between the user, the designated carrier and the national courier of the user who verifies the identities, creates a service record and reconciles the payment.

Bubbletone aims to stand out in the telecommunications sector as its list of potential service providers will include mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which purchase network services from carriers and offer them virtually, often at much lower rates. Today roaming phones only connect to the networks of the main operators.

Under pressure

Telecommunications carriers all over the world are subjected to strong competitive pressure. They are looking for new sources of income, for example by linking more offers of partners in their bundles of services, or exploring opportunities that take advantage of the Internet of Things and cloud computing.

Whether the model is business-to-consumer, business-to-business or machine-to-machine, these new opportunities represent increasingly rapid data exchanges that require an increase in trust between partners. A secure and protected blockchain registry technology can be a key component of these partnerships and other industries.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER ADVERTISING

Bernard Schwab is director of solutions for the global communications industry in Oracle. He has worked in the field since 1985, first as an engineer at the time of ISDN. Since joining Oracle in 1999, Schwab has taken on several roles, including sales, business operations and post-merger integration. It is based in Hamburg, Germany.

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