Spanish Telecoms Operator Partners With IBM to Manage International Calls With Blockchain


IBM and major Spanish telecommunications firm Telefónica have partnered to apply blockchain technology to managing international mobile phone call traffic, per a press release shred with Cointelegraph Nov. 14.

Telefónica is the seventh largest telecom company in the world by market capitalization, valued at $51 billion according to Forbes. The company carries out communications business in 17 countries, with 343 million customers.

The collaboration with IBM aims to streamline certain Telefónica business processes and address various challenges in the field, including the reliability and transparency of information registered from different networks when routing international calls.

Specifically, Telefónica plans to use the IBM Blockchain Platform for tracking the certainty and traceability of each international call and related data, such as origin, destination, and duration.

In addition, the platform will be applied in building a network of peers consisting of operators, service providers, vendors, and other parties. Per the release, access to the platform will be available for all participants in the chain.

The project will also purportedly help Telefónica identify fraudulent activity as well as address issues like dispute resolution, commercial loss due to uncollected revenues, or discrepancies in information.

Gonzalo Martín-Villa, Chief Innovation Officer of Telefónica, said that “blockchain will allow operators to generate a new layer of confidence in the Internet based not on the players that generate the data and the transactions but on the data itself.”

IBM subsequently confirmed the partnership with Telefónica in a separate announcement today, saying that “Telefónica and IBM are collaborating in the development of a Proof of Concept (PoC) based on IBM blockchain technology to help solve one of the major challenges of communications service providers, the management of international mobile phone call traffic.”

Last month, the innovation wing of Vietnam’s largest telecommunications operator Viettel Group, set a goal to become Vietnam’s leading blockchain technology provider in five years. In its race to keep pace with development trends, the company has already made a blockchain-based solution to improve file management in the healthcare sector.

In September, South Korea’s LG UPlus, a mobile carrier owned by the country’s fourth largest conglomerate LG Corp., announced it is launching a blockchain-based cross-carrier overseas payment service. Through the new service, users of one telecoms carrier will be able to frictionlessly complete transactions on the payment networks of another.

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