Exclusive: Telcos, users, are totally dialled in on this new tech
Blockchain meets Telecom in a revolutionary new win-win way.
An exciting new development will turn telecom competitors into collaborators, and users into expert bundlers, saving the sector billions in third-party fees.
Nexign and Bubbletone have announced an exclusive partnership to develop an industry-first blockchain-based Business Support Systems (BSS) solution for the telecom sector, creating a new marketplace for wholesale trading that enables the creation of personalized and profitable offers to end users.
Nexign is a leading convergent, real-time Business Support System (BSS) & IoT platform provider, and Bubbletone is the first decentralized telecom ecosystem that allows mobile network operators, phone users, and service providers to interact directly.
End users greatly and directly benefit from this global marketplace for telecom operators―who now have the ability to collaborate with significantly more flexibility over classical roaming agreements and ultimately propose personalized packages to their roaming end users—an option that has not previously existed.
This is nothing short of ingenious, and connectivity on the go has never been as rewarding as this.
But first, why should operators jump in on this blockchain?
New telco-kids on the Blockchain
Blockchain has been under the radar of the telecom industry for at least 3-4 years, according to Loukas Tzitzis, Chief Products & Marketing Officer at Nexign.
“The fundamental benefit is that for the first time in the history of transactions, you have a way to do something without a centralized authority, in a totally secure manner,” Tzitzis told AMEinfo in an exclusive interview.
According to Research and Markets, blockchain in the telecom market is predicted to grow at 84.4% between 2018 and 2023.
For operators, they can publish and share product information on the marketplace in a way that information can be open to the whole platform or only to some parts of the platform―for example, an alliance that they are a part of.
Operators will benefit from BSS with embedded blockchain, enabling them to increase the efficiency of their business through seamless transactions and optimized internal processes, like creating partner services bundles, partner billing (settlement), provisioning, enabling faster transactions and payments, directly—i.e. without intermediaries―while also allowing them to expand their customer base and increase revenue, all without any additional cost.
With readiness planned for e-SIM, IoT Apps tokens and any ASP/OTT (Application Service Provider/Over theTop) subscriptions, operators will be able to offer their own authentication service, publish their own tokens and sequences and sell directly to partners without any need for intermediaries.
With telecom, you also have trillions of dollars in transactions where intermediaries are making a certain percentage of it.
“This is overhead on top of transactions that bring telecom costs higher, but on top of that, they are a potential single point of failure, in terms of security, deliverability and others. Once you take that out, you have huge savings and efficiencies,” said Tzitzis.
The blockchain-driven joint solution fulfills the role typically performed by a clearinghouse, checking all partial charge/volume transactions and mitigating any settlement risks before the billing period ends.
Users say “hello” to endless bundling
The solution will enable subscribers to purchase new personalized and cost-effective roaming offers, using their existing SIM card.
“We realized there is an opportunity to enhance revenue streams, even on existing services like roaming that have been around for 20 years,” adds Tzitzis.
Roaming is a fixed agreement between two operators on what they will be offering subscribers.
“But when you combine the dynamics of a modern BSS system together with blockchain, you have effectively a platform where multiple operators join. Once operators join the platform, they can publish their offers and at the same time, they are allowed to purchase a certain number of units of a particular offer. All these interactions happen in near real time and most importantly, this creates a foundation for using the capabilities of blockchain and BSS so that a roaming subscriber can have a package proposed to them that suits their subscriber profile and usage patterns” explains Tzitzis.
What’s in it for telcos?
Roaming visitors present additional revenue streams when enabled with personalized offers that reflect the users’ patterns and requirements.
On top of that, one of the biggest problems facing telcos today has to do with identity management and protection and the joint solution helps to address that issue on classic services, as well as with IoT, the largest opportunity to hit the industry. The joint blockchain solution from Nexign and Bubbletone offers a very effective way of managing the issues of user consent and identity management.
Beyond IoT and roaming, “Operators can use the blockchain for wholesale stock exchange-like model of interactions between communication service providers (CSPs) on the platform to enhance current concepts such as mobile money, direct carrier billing, digital identities and e-commerce. Blockchain-driven BSS solution supports this directions removing the cost of transactions,” says Tzitzis.
Imagine a package coming from your operator, where you not only have voice and content, but also VIP service in a clinic, where your electronic health records are secured through a permissioned digitally encrypted blockchain with a private key that is available only to you.
“Straightaway, you can ensure that you can have not only your classical telecom service as an end user but also banking and finance, telemedicine and any service today like travel or real estate. It enables users to avoid needing 4-5 touch points and instead using just a single one in a totally secure and safe manner.”
Token of appreciation
Telco and services players may go beyond generalized roaming agreements, as now they can package what they need.
After purchasing product instances from other players, digital service providers (DSPs) monetize this through reselling personalized offers to their customers via convenient sales channels. The blockchain allows buying and offering between telco players via tokens which act as guarantee for the transactions between operators, happening in real time. When users switch on their phone, the BSS system knows that user’s requirements based on patterns and allows ‘promotions of offers’ towards buying certain packages.
“All of a sudden, you can have personalized roaming. The interesting thing with that is that it does not interfere with existing roaming agreements, because it is purely over the top (OTT) of the existing revenue,” clarifies Tzitzis.
This is simply how blockchain technology brings new possibility to BSS.
The business model
How does the partnership make money?
It first starts with revenues from extending the standard license of Nexign’s BSS system, where the company’s BSS software is already implemented and where users agree on new functionalities and capabilities to be introduced based on Blockchain capabilities. If Nexign’s system is not present, then clients are charged a one-off, subscription set-up fee.
“Most importantly in this digital economy, we use a pay as you grow, benefits-share system. The platform is operating on a partnership approach, where we enable additional benefits for both the operators and the subscribers. Our pricing works in a way so that we do not hinder our clients with large upfront costs on the introduction of the blockchain capabilities in the BSS. We link our growth to the growth of benefits for the operator business—small upfront costs and subsequently, the more benefits an operator receives from reducing costs and increasing revenues, the more we grow as well,” explains Tzitzis.
“We are happy with the traction we are having from the ME and Asia,” ends Tzitzis.