GLF demos multilateral blockchain settlement PoC

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The ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF) has announced the successful completion of a multi-lateral blockchain proof of concept (PoC) that demonstrated the viability of a platform that can settle voice transactions between multiple carriers in minutes rather than hours.

The PoC – led by PCCW Global and Colt Technology Services, in collaboration with BT, Orange, Telefonica and Telstra – is the latest in a series of blockchain PoCs carried out by GLF members and supported by technology partner and blockchain firm Clear. The latest trial is the first to involve a multi-lateral series of relationships among the wholesale telecommunications industry, and points to a future of secure and frictionless settlement across the sector, PCCW Global says.

The GLF is now reviewing options around a potential governance structure to develop the technology further and implement a solution for the industry that replaces existing and cumbersome processes for settlement of voice as well as other types of transactions, examples such as mobile roaming or data on demand.

“It has been a strong belief within the GLF that innovative technologies such as blockchain can be harnessed to improve the overall efficiency of the industry, and it is now clear that the industry can look forward to the benefit of becoming further aligned,” said Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global and the chairman of the GLF. “Industry cooperation in this area will be a game changer for the whole sector.”

“Following the successful trial with live data by Colt and PCCW Global, it was an important next step to prove the use case for blockchain technology in our industry by repeating it with multiple carriers,” said Colt CEO Carl Grivner. “This latest PoC signals nothing less than the future of telecoms, whereby intensive manual practices can be securely automated across the wholesale ecosystem.”

The first GLF-backed PoC saw PCCW Global and Colt working bilaterally to demonstrate how the inter-carrier settlement of wholesale international voice services could be automated through the use of blockchain. By using technology from Clear, the two partners were able to reduce a normally labor-intensive process from hours to minutes.

The PoC was expanded in May, when BT, Orange, Telefonica and Telstra joined the trial to study the viability of the blockchain platform to settle traffic in a multi-carrier environment. The PoC was able to demonstrate that the initial trial that saw successful input of live data feeds into the ledger, enabling traffic to be automatically verified and settled between two carriers, could be scaled to work across multiple touchpoints.

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