IBM and Telefónica use blockchain for calls

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IBM and Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica have formed a partnership to use blockchain technology as the management tool for international mobile phone traffic, according to a press release sent to Cointelegraph on 14th November.

Forbes assesses the value of Telefónica globally at $51 billion and it is the seventh largest telecommunications company in the world, operates in 17 countries and has 343 million customers.

As a partnership, IBM and Telefónica plan to streamline some of the telecom operator’s business processes and deal with some of the challenges the company faces, such as the reliability and transparency of information registered from different networks when routing international calls. More specifically, Telefónica says it will use the IBM Blockchain Platform to track each international call for data, such as origin, destination, and duration, to boost traceability.

The IBM platform is also going to be used to build a network of peers. This network will consist of service providers, sellers and other third parties, who will all have access to the blockchain platform.

Telefónica also said that the IBM platform would help it to trace fraudulent activity and could help the firm to resolve disputes, recover uncollected payments and identify any discrepancies.

Gonzalo Martín-Villa, Chief Innovation Officer of Telefónica, said, “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 released its own announcement regarding the project as well. It said, “Telefónica and IBM are collaborating in the development of a Proof of Concept 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.”

A similar use of blockchain has recently emerged in South Korea’s telecoms market, with LG UPlus launching a blockchain-based cross-carrier overseas payment service. This will allow users of one telecoms carrier will be able to frictionlessly complete transactions on the payment networks of another.

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