IBM Likely to Collaborate with Indian Telecos to Offer Blockchain-based Solutions

Indian telecom firms are elevating their services with the help of Blockchain solutions. According to latest headlines, IBM (International Business Machines) is expected to work with telecom firms of India offering blockchain solutions which could be used in “Mobile Number Portability” (MNP) and “Do Not Call” registries.

What makes “IBM Blockchain” Different?
IBM blockchain platform offers everything you require to create, test, govern and manage a blockchain network. Thus, you can run blockchain applications in various cloud environments. The blockchain platform offered by IBM also unravel business values in environments from AWS to IBM Cloud to IBM Z. It also helps to form a new business network with much transparency and trust. Advance technologies and proven methodologies of blockchain platform can drive game-changing business results.

According to Sriram Raghavan, Vice President of IBM Research “IBM has completed the proof of concepts and pilots with major telecom firms and TRAI. We might start rolling out the blockchain solutions in the upcoming year.” But he did not disclose the name of firms. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)is keen to work with IBM and adopt its blockchain solutions in order to spot the issues of coordination amongst multiple parties in regard to mobile number portability (MNP) & ‘Do Not Call’ (DNC) registries. This will provide more visibility and quickly address malfeasance to TRAI, as a regulator. Mobile number portability (MNP) is also a multi-party process which includes both telecom firms and blockchain as well. TRAI is already done reviewing proof of pilots and concepts on blockchain or DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) in Feb 2018 and had introduced a set of regulations in May, after evaluating what was feasible with DLT. The next step in the process involves telecom service provider to choose IT vendors and align the ecosystem according to the guidelines laid by TRAI.

According to the sources, TRAIL official said, “The telecom firms are in the process of selecting their vendors. The IT vendors along with respective telcos may roll out DLT-based systems in upcoming months.” The first step of DLT would be towards DO NOT CALL registry.

Emergence of Blockchain
Initially, blockchain emerged to be the system underpinning Bitcoin. It is a grid of nodes consisting of all information. These nodes validate the transaction which once verified gets combined with other transaction to create a block of data for the ledger. This block gets added to the existing blockchain. Therefore, it becomes permanent and unalterable. In other words, it acted as a digitally distributed collection of records where each entity or person in the network gets a copy of ledger, and all the parties have to agree to run the change. Apart from it, blockchain solutions are also found useful in many fields such as database management, in some steps of supply chain management and government programmes.

IBM uses private blockchain networks which aims to enable the sharing of sensitive data of businesses amongst trusted parties, unlike public blockchain networks like Bitcoin. Raghvan said “a private network includes both private as well as the pubic permissioned network where anybody can join. In public permissioned network, one cannot just download the code and join it, but he has to be permissioned. Sometimes, there is a confusion between these two dimensions.”