PCCW Global and Colt’s settlements blockchain trial gets bigger

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PCCW Global and Colt Technology Services say that they have expanded their blockchain proof of concept (PoC) for inter-carrier settlement payments, and that more carriers have now joined the initiative.

PCCW Global, Colt and blockchain start-up Clear revealed in March that they had undertaken a trial that demonstrated how the inter-carrier settlement of wholesale international services could be automated through the use of blockchain. By using blockchain technology, the PoC was able to reduce the labor-intensive process from hours to minutes.

The initial PoC used historical data as a test of the technology and its use case for the sector. Now, PCCW Global says the companies have taken the trial a step further by ingesting actual live data feeds into the ledger, enabling traffic to be automatically verified and settled between carriers.

While the original two carriers are now using live data to verify and settle traffic, other members of the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF) have also decided to get involved in the initiative, including BT, HGC Global Communications, Telefónica and Telstra. The aim is to expand the bilateral testing between PCCW Global and Colt to encompass a multilateral series of relationships among the wholesale telecoms industry as a whole.

“A lot of the conversations at the GLF have been around how innovative technologies such as blockchain can be used to improve the overall efficiency of the industry,” said Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global and chairman of the GLF. “With the PoC expanding to include more carriers, it is clear that the industry is seeing the benefit of becoming further aligned. Industry cooperation in this area will be incredibly powerful for the whole sector.”

Colt CEO Carl Grivner added, “We were optimistic by the success of the initial trial, but utilizing live data was an important next step to prove the use case for blockchain technology in our industry. Not only did the second iteration of the PoC do what was intended – accurately match and settle wholesale traffic independently with live information – but it also signaled the future of telecommunications, whereby previously intensive manual practices can be securely automated to allow businesses such as Colt to invest resources into driving both our and our customer’s businesses forward.”

“This initiative eventually, if positive, would certainly demonstrate a new business relationship among global carriers and reshape our business practice in the industry,” said Andrew Kwok, CEO of HGC.

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