One of the “big four” multinational accounting firms, KPMG is partnering with software firms TOMIA, Microsoft, and R3 to develop a blockchain for telecom settlements. In the past, KPMG has pursued industry-specific blockchain pilots all of which have been concerned with settling cross-border, or network, complexities.
The Microsoft and R3 partners, who are leaders in distributed ledger (DLT) industry, are working with KPMG in the same vein to resolve issues borne from connections between multiple parties. KPMG is looking specifically, to address the hard data issues that will arise from 5G connectivity. The company states that “international mobile data roaming revenues are expected to reach $31 billion in 2022, with an average annual growth rate of eight percent.” KPMG had advised telecom operators on capital-efficient deployment of 5G networks, cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection, and revenue recognition and lease accounting before this blockchain telecom announcement.
Arun Ghosh, Blockchain Leader at KPMG, addressed in a blog post that the use of international data is accelerating: “While we will be able to consume more data more quickly and across more locations than ever before in this next wave of telecom advancement, it is becoming increasingly complex for telecom companies to track and settle interchange fees.”
The telecoms blockchain project is directed to reduce the number of disputes, the future costs, and time used in telecom settlements caused by “billions of mobile interactions flow[ing] through hundreds of connected networks managed by dozens of customers and suppliers.”
According to Ghosh, asides those issues the blockchain should address other inefficiencies in the market. Settlements and reconciliations are currently handled manually, and can take up to a month to complete, Ghosh said. He stated that a huge amount of data is generated is around mobile devices. Some include the metadata of where a call originates and terminates, the conditions of a user’s contract, and billing information, that must be authenticated by at least two parties if cross-service operations occur.
“The three pillars of settlements – the subscribers, their contracts, and amount of data generated – can all be integrated on a private, permissioned ledger to be seen and verified by the telecom operators,” he said. With the smart contract designed by KPMG, the load of information described can be reconciled automatically.
Ghosh said KPMG has taken the design and execution lead for the project going by the business arrangement. Microsoft, on the other hand, is filling the shoes of the principal architect while R3’s Corda acts as the backbone of the operation. Additionally,TOMIA brings a layer of telecom know-how through representing 40-odd global operators.
Credits- Daniel Kuhn
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