Colt Technology Services and Zeetta Networks will take the wraps off of a marketplace blockchain proof-of-concept (PoC) demo at MEF18 later this month.
The goal of the PoC is to show that carriers can buy and sell their network services in a secure marketplace, which in turn will lower the cost of business-to-business transactions. By proving that blockchain is a valid technology for conducting business transactions, service providers can increase the efficiencies of those deals while growing the blockchain marketplace.
By creating virtual ledgers, enterprises will be able to track and manage information across various parties in a value chain. Blockchain, which was developed for bitcoin, is a digitized, distributed ledger that tracks transactions as statements of facts that can be used in a digital economy by businesses, regulators, operators and consumers.
Blockchain creates a shared ecosystem across parties to exchange information in a way that grants permission and is highly secure.
“Blockchain technology is a disrupter to the slow and error-prone manual approach most traditional business processes have been run so far," said Mirko Voltolini, head of network on demand at Colt Technology Services, in a prepared statement. "Above all, it removes the need to have a trusted third-party intermediary to carry out B2B transactions among multiple entities. Coupled with SDN it has the potential to extend automation from the network to the business, it’s a revolution to the telecom market.”
The PoC is notable on several fronts, with the first being that blockchain is emerging as a key technology for tracking and automating delivery processes, services and service assurance between service providers—via intercarrier orchestration across SDN networks—and their enterprise customers.
The PoC uses MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Sonata API to enable transactions across the blockchain-based marketplace. LSO Sonata includes intercarrier quoting capabilities and blockchain-based billing and settlement features.
Service providers have eagerly awaited MEF's final approval for LSO Sonata as well as other LSO APIs. In July, FierceTelecom reported that MEF expects to have them approved around the time of MEF18, which is slated for Oct. 29-31 in Los Angeles.
Also at MEF18, service providers and vendors will demonstrate another blockchain PoC. Carriers CBCcom, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Tata Communications will team up with Clear Blockchain Technologies and Cataworx to show how telcos can use blockchain to enable services such as bandwidth on demand, IoT, voice, and virtual reality.
Blockchain heating up
Last month, AT&T announced a suite of blockchain-based services that are designed to help its enterprise customers cut costs and speed automation processes.
AT&T paired its blockchain offerings with its edge-to-edge capabilities to get the services closer to the end users. AT&T also said it was using its internet of things (IoT) solutions to add automation into the blockchain services while also providing monitoring capabilities. AT&T is working with IBM and Microsoft Azure's blockchain technologies.
BT, Colt, HGC Global, Telefonica and Telstra conducted a trial earlier this year that used blockchain for wholesale settlement. In August, CBCcom, PCCW Global, Sparkle, Tata Communications, Clear Blockchain Technologies and Cataworx announced a blockchain PoC trial.
Blockchain is emerging out of the realm of possibilities and into the real world in the telecom sector. A recent survey by Deloitte of executives running telecommunications, media and entertainment businesses found that 84% of the respondents believed that blockchain would broadly scale and reach mainstream adoption.
According to GlobalData, blockchain is a $1 billion opportunity for telecommunications companies, but they must proactively make the significant commitments necessary to position themselves for that revenue.