Public Blockchain For Telecom Has Arrived: What It Means for You

By Tiffany Brown

You’ve no doubt heard the hype about blockchain. But unless you’re in the one percent of the world’s largest telecommunications carriers big enough to stand up and maintain private blockchain solutions between yourself and your largest trading partners and customers, the reality of distributed ledger technology has always seemed a long way off.

Now, the wait is over.  

In our recently published article in Pipeline, “Blockchain for All Telecom Carriers: The Future of Public Blockchain is Here”, I share the latest updates about public blockchain, the zero-knowledge proofs that are making it possible, and the MEF Project Wolf Town live use case.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the article yet, here are the highlights you need to know:

  • Zero-knowledge proofs eliminate barriers to blockchain entry for all enterprises. Until recently, private blockchain solutions have been too expensive and resource-intensive for most carriers and enterprises to consider. Public blockchain has posed too many privacy concerns to make it a viable option. Major advancements within the past year with zero-knowledge proofs, or zero knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines (zkEVMs), in blockchain has effectively solved these issues for all.

    Zero-knowledge proofs allow companies to post to a public blockchain without revealing or compromising records, data, contract logic, or any other propriety information. While anyone on the blockchain can see the proof, only the carriers to which the proof applies have access to the information securely contained behind it. And just like that, privacy has become a non-issue and companies can affordably take advantage of secure public blockchain solutions.
  • Public blockchain for telecom use cases are live right now. Organizations are already using and benefiting from them. A global communication solutions provider and LATAM network solutions provider were the first two participants in MEF Project Wolf Town, a blockchain solution that is automating the real-time generation and enforcement of SLA credits. After the article was written, a global digital infrastructure company has joined this use case as well. The solution features built-in and agreed upon SLA logic. When a service disruption or problem per the terms of the SLA occurs, the solution generates and mutually endorses credit calculations instantly, minimizing future disputes and providing resolutions both buyers and sellers can confidently trust.

    MEF is leading the way in public blockchain development for ordering, billing, and settlement standardization in addition to SLA compliance. These solutions will allow for real-time rating, optimization, and mutual endorsement of orders to eliminate costly billing errors and streamline the settlement process. More and more carriers and enterprises are joining these efforts and beginning to reap the significant financial and operational benefits. They no longer need a hefty blockchain budget or dedicated staff because public blockchain is available for a nominal monthly fee.
  • Blockchain is driving global equality in telecommunications. As more and more carriers, enterprises, and government agencies migrate to blockchain solutions, we will see an end to the costs, frustration, and waste associated with today’s antiquated telecom ordering, billing, settlement, and dispute environments. This represents the best-case scenario for organizations and end users all around the globe. Industry players will have more resources to devote to ensuring full access to telecommunications technologies and services everywhere they exist. And all customers will benefit from the industry’s ongoing growth and evolution.
  • Early adopters of blockchain will set themselves apart as industry leaders in service transparency and customer experience. Blockchain is no longer the hype in telecom; it’s the reality. Both private and public blockchains are currently being leveraged by carriers for a variety of business operations. And carriers of all sizes now have opportunities to get involved. As just one example, Project Wolf Town’s zkEVM blockchain debut is scheduled for demo in Dallas at MEF’s Global NaaS Event in October 2023. Soon afterward, it will be open to any MEF member to join and, eventually, to any carrier in the world.

    For most, the first step to taking advantage of opportunities like this will be modernizing and rightsizing systems, contracts, and networks and preparing blockchain-ready inventories with contract vehicles codified into smart contracts. These steps take time but are critical to allowing companies to join blockchain and start realizing the advantages as soon as possible. The good news is that this upfront work funds itself through the significant savings it generates. And the best to time to start, if you haven’t already, is right now.

Checkout Blockchain for All Telecom Carriers: The Future of Public Blockchain Is Here” to learn more.

I encourage you to give the Pipeline article a read to get the additional details about zero-knowledge proofs, the Project Wolf Town initiative, and the future of blockchain in telecom. You may also want to check out this recent MEF Executives at the Edge podcast in which I join host Pascal Menezes to discuss the telecom ordering process in greater detail and how blockchain is transforming what has too long been a painful and broken process for the industry.

With all the recent advancements in blockchain, things are going to happen faster than ever from this point forward. We look forward to keeping you posted every step of the way.