Blogpost from F. Homberg: Opportunities for Applying Blockchain in Roaming

September 30, 2019, capacitymedia.com: Blogpost in the name of Federico Homberg, Head of Commercial Roaming Business Development, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier

Discover why our Federico Homberg sees blockchain solutions as a great value addition and how it can support efficiency of processes and greater transparency in the inter-carrier roaming business.

The roaming business is probably 25 or 30 years old and the wholesale part has not changed much since then. However, on the retail side the importance of roaming has increased dramatically.

In Europe, consumers benefit from “Roam-Like-Home”, which means they can use their local rate plans abroad as if they were at home. On the M2M (machine-to-machine) side, as an example, automobile manufacturers equip their cars with SIM cards that need to work globally. For this, they typically work with 4 to 5 large mobile network operators that provide the connectivity for specific regions.

 

For maximum quality and coverage, Deutsche Telekom has wholesale roaming relationships with over 600 other mobile operators. For all these relationships there are contracts which need to be negotiated, implemented, tracked and settled after the term of the contract. It’s easy to imagine the amount of data needed just for the financial agreement and payment issues. Presently, a lot of this is still done manually. However, as technologies like NB-IoT, LTE-M, VoLTE, ViLTE or 5G evolve, the complexity will rise, and increased automation will be necessary.

I therefore see blockchain solutions as a great, perhaps crucial, value addition. It can support efficiency of processes and greater transparency as more and more operators work together. A first step towards automation in inter-carrier roaming settlements could be to implement agreements via software rather than manually. This would create one source of truth for rates and discounts that could be stored over a blockchain. In a second step, a smart contract could be created that would automatically request the concluded volume data from either a data clearing house or an internal data source and apply the pricing and discounts agreed upon in the first step.

Read the full blogpost in the name of Federico on capacitymedia.com here.

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