Marco Limena discusses, leveraging IoT and blockchain technology to catalyze telecoms transformation.
The introduction of blockchain technology into the telecoms industry has transformed the way that Communications Service Providers (CSP) are able to do business. Blockchain technology, when partnered with the global expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), generates significant potential for the sharing and analysis of information cross-sector. As our devices gradually become more connected, IoT data analytics are being used to harness monetization opportunities to drive profit margins, whilst blockchain is simultaneously making it easier for telecoms companies to transact.
Analyst house, IDC, predicted that by the end of 2019, approximately $2.9 Billion will have been invested into blockchain worldwide. Unsurprisingly, investors are looking for the speed, efficiency and advanced level of security this technology boasts, but benefits exceed this. IBM named ‘greater transparency’ as the primary benefit of using blockchain, referencing the more accurate, consistent and transparent nature of its functionality. It is quite clear why IT service providers are looking to utilize blockchain technology, but how can blockchain bring benefits to the telecoms sector, as well as others?
Blockchain enables trust due to a shared view of secure data, hence, improving coordination between partners. This in turn enables the elimination of third parties, resulting in significant cost savings, providing incentives of greater profit margins for telecoms companies that upgrade their digital functions to blockchain. The ‘problem-solving’ nature of blockchain is what makes it lucrative. In telecoms, blockchain Is applied to identify difficulties and fix them more quickly. This, in addition to greater function efficiently, creates the prime condition for company growth. Matched with partnerships that allow the complex functions of managing blockchain to be outsourced, blockchain not only advantageous to telecoms, but very profitable.
Meanwhile, the development of interconnectivity between IoT devices like surveillance cameras and smart vehicles has brought about a requirement for big data management. Telecoms units are now teaming up with IT service providers and leading blockchain platforms and experts to provide comprehensive solutions.
In 2018, the analyst group, Gartner, predicted that over 20 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by next year, putting service providers in a race to tailor their strategies, data services, and telecom infrastructure. The oncoming 5G rollout and evolution to smart cities, founded on device inter-connectivity, will see this number continue to rapidly grow. The expansive nature of 5G network architecture raises security vulnerability questions that the use of blockchain attempts to resolve. Customer service providers will leverage Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) where software is disaggregated from hardware.
The telecoms industry is in the midst of a transformation with blockchain and IoT being the key pillars. This transformation will continue to evolve as other sectors also seek to convert to the blockchain platform and standardization is strived towards, with big data dominating as a primary function for all communications service providers and service providers more generally. Developing progressive strategies, including the use of blockchain, for processing this increase in data allows the telecoms industry to revert to closer customer relations and make their services more responsive and reliable. The introduction of 5G networks opens doors to even greater connectivity between devices and IoT will remain as a primary function in the digital world as interconnectivity continues to grow.