Syniverse and IBM have worked with Orange and MTS for a pilot program that used open-source blockchain technology to validate new wholesale billing and charging processes for clearing and settlement services for mobile roaming.
The pilot program on blockchain technology — conducted by Syniverse and IBM — is aimed to enable mobile operators to coordinate and execute smart contracts. The smart-contracts capability of blockchain technology helps determine the rules and processes governing each transaction between parties.
In addition, this capability will help improve customer efficiencies and reduce the friction of doing business, such as for dispute management, Syniverse said.
Orange, a leading mobile operator in Europe, worked with Syniverse and IBM to implement, test, and provide feedback on the solution, and reported that the solution will help increase operational efficiency, especially for call event creation and data exchange, based on the specific steps included in the pilot.
MTS Russia reported that it saw valuable efficiency gains in clearing and settlement for roaming. MTS also noticed increase in operational efficiency, auditability, and smart-contract management. The regional mobile operator reported that the solution provided the capability to directly create, validate, and view all agreements with partners using smart contracts.
The pilot is an important demonstration of the GSMA Unified Data Record (UDR) standard, a new global industry standard for charging settlements designed to address the proliferation of devices that are expected to grow as a result of 5G and the internet of things (IoT), said Syniverse in a statement.
Using the GSMA UDR format is crucial in supporting the growing number of new charging processes being powered by the high speed of 5G networks and the automation of the IoT. The next steps for the pilot are to extend it to other mobile operators to continue testing and refining it for these new 5G- and IoT-enabled charging processes.
“Together with Syniverse, we’ve designed a blockchain platform solution that has potential to change the clearing and roaming business processes and enable mobile operators to improve collaboration within business networks,” said Utpal Mangla, vice president for Blockchain, IBM Telecommunications Services.