Major Spanish telecommunications firm Telefónica and IBM have teamed up to apply blockchain technology that will manage international cellular phone call traffic. The seventh biggest telecom company in the world according to market capitalization, Telefónica, per Forbes, is valued at around $51 billion. With 343 million customers, this company does communications business in 17 different countries. Their collaborative efforts with IBM are anticipated to help streamline the business processes of Telefónica while addressing numerous challenges in the field such as the transparency and reliability of information that’s registered from different networks while international calls are being routed. Telefónica intends to use IBM’s Blockchain Platform to track the traceability and certainty of each call that’s placed internationally and related data including duration, destination, and origin. The platform will also be applied to building a network of peers that include vendors, service providers, operators, and others. All available participants in the chain will have access to this platform. Additionally, the project will assist Telefónica in addressing issues such as resolving disputes, inconsistencies in information, and commercial loss due to uninhibited revenues as well as recognizing fraudulent activities. Chief Innovation Officer at Telefónica, Gonzalo Martín-Villa, believes that blockchain will give operators more confidence online due to the data itself, rather than the people who generate the data. A separate announcement about IBM’s partnership with Telefónica was recently announced. The reason the company is collaborating with Telefónica is because together they both want to develop a Proof of Concept, or PoC, based on their blockchain technology to resolve one of the biggest challenges communication service providers currently face – the management of international cellular phone call traffic. Just last month, Vietnam’s largest communications operator, Viettel Group, made a goal to become the leading blockchain provider in five years. In the race to meet this goal while staying current with trends in development, Viettel Group has come up with a blockchain-based solution to help improve file management in the healthcare industry. LG UPlus in South Korea, which is owned by LG, the country’s fourth largest corporation, made an announcement back in September regarding their new block-chain based cross-carrier payment service which will allow users to effortlessly complete transactions on other payment networks.
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