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Telcos launch commercial blockchain services to seize new revenue streams, says GlobalData

November 2019 by Patrick LEBRETON

Blockchain, after a relatively slow build-up over several years, is being touted as a revolutionary technology with the potential to reshape many industries, both in terms of their operational and business models, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s report, ‘Decoding the Blockchain Ecosystem for Telecoms: Value Chain, Players, and Telco Opportunities’, notes that although still emerging, blockchain is being driven by increasing demand for digital security along with government investments and the promise of reducing transactions time and costs.

Telcos are joining the development of blockchain use cases to enhance wholesale services, improve fraud management solutions and streamline internal processes. Additionally, telecom operators can use blockchain technologies to enhance existing products, for example Internet of Things (IoT) services, as well as to expand their enterprise solutions portfolio and yield new revenue streams, for instance identity-as-a-service solutions.

An increasing number of telcos - including Orange, Telefonica, BT and Colt - are partnering in pilot projects to use blockchain networks in order to increase the efficiency of wholesale fees settlement amongst operators.

Blockchain is also valuable in driving telcos’ service innovation, helping them yield new revenue streams. Telcos have the opportunity to play a role in the blockchain value chain and to provide new business solutions. These include Digital Identity-as-a-Service (DIaaS) and Blockchain-as-a–Service (BPaaS) along with a set of vertical-specific blockchain solutions such as supply chain, quality control and tracking solutions.

Several telcos have already started implementing blockchain networks and offering solutions to enterprises through partnerships with global cloud providers and other specialized ecosystem players, or through in-house solutions development. AT&T, for instance, leverages IBM’s blockchain platform, Microsoft Azure’s blockchain technology and AWS’ managed blockchain suite for its BaaS solution offered to enterprises.

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