An operational solution based on smart contracts and blockchain to manage a mutually endorsed source of truth for both Buyer and Seller for inventory matching and automated settlement of fixed line data services.
Inter-carrier transactions rely on a mix of automated and manual processes, the latter of which can be complex, expensive and time sensitive. It relies on human intervention and is prone to manual error, slow dispute resolution, long payment cycles and exposure to fraud. Existing frameworks are slow to adopt and support emerging traffic types, such as bandwidth on demand, edge network slices or critical IoT, on which future digital services growth will be based. The evolution of an operational and commercial settlement infrastructure at the wholesale level is critical to underpin network innovation.
Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Colt have teamed up with other partners to:
Automated Inventory matching & settlement for fixed line data services in a simple three-step approach:
Operator 1 reports all currently active services with operator 2 to the Blockchain. Operator 2 does the same and reports all currently active services with operator 1 to the Blockchain. The Blockchain system serves as the single source of truth for the inventory of both sides (or the bilateral inventories). It matches the records using a set of different data fields as identifies which can be defined per bilateral relation. As a result, the system will identify matched records, partial matches, and mismatches which will be reported back to the blockchain. This is a huge step forward as in the old days, the extraction of active services & the matching was done manually with each partner.
The system identifies fully matched records, partial matches and mismatches. Mismatches & partial matches can easily be checked by both sides assisted by the Blockchain system. For the matched records, billing statements can be generated directly and serve as a basis for invoicing & settlement. Billing statements will also be captured on the Blockchain system.
Once billing statements have been generated, the invoices can be paid. Currently, this is being done in the old ways. A logic next step however is to use automated payments for the matched records using e.g. a FIAT cryptocurrency. This is currently being looked into—there are a number of legal, regulatory & tax related challenges to be solved.
The ability to bill on-demand services accurately and in an automated fashion while minimizing disputes is essential for the growth of NaaS in the telecom industry.
The three year old solution created by Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Colt and PCCW Global operating on live services today.
Scaling up the solution to increase the number of telecoms that can utilize this capability.
Increase the use of open, standardized technologies and infrastructure to broaden the appeal of the solution to more telecoms.
A high level of manual work and intervention in the billing and dispute process in telecoms resulting in sub-optimal cash flow and revenue.