As global interest in blockchain gains traction, a growing number of companies—both aliases and competitors—are working together as part of a consortium. Their goal is to harness the technology more effectively.
By collaborating together in a blockchain consortium, these companies are able to set standards and develop infrastructure. Additionally, it leads to effective deployment of blockchain solutions.
Following this trend, a new blockchain consortium, called the Communications Blockchain Network (CBN), has been unveiled. It has a goal of revolutionizing the ICT Service Provider industry’s commercial settlement infrastructure.
The platform has already drawn support from leading carriers and technology providers including Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, Colt Technology Services and A1 Telekom Austria. Other members include Orange, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier China Telecom, Global, PCCW Global, Tata Communications, Telefonica, Telstra, TNZI and IDT.
Communications Blockchain Network
One fundamental feature of blockchain is that it is more of a business-to-business workflow tool. This means that the technology requires collaboration in order to set standards, develop infrastructure, and execute transactions.
The Communications Blockchain Network (CBN) aims to create a collaborative industry-wide governance framework. This will help the wider ICT ecosystem to avoid fragmentation in the industry. It will also help accelerate the adoption of automated settlements applications. Furthermore, it fosters the development of open-source standards and APIs that enable service-provider interoperability of blockchain solutions.
Through the blockchain-based settlement platform, CBN will be able to streamline inter-service provider settlement processes by enabling automation and improving security. This result in a rapid and cost-efficient wholesale settlement between carriers and their partners.
Blockchain Consortium Governance
According to research by Deloitte, there are more than 40 consortia formed around the world to explore blockchain in various industries. Many of these consortia have attracted significant investments as well as robust governance from key industry players. The CBN consortium, for example, will be governed by a collaborative structure of both telecom carriers and leading technology providers.
Remarkably, the technology partners in that governance structure comprise of both permissoned and permissionless blockchains and providers. These include IBM (permissioned), Orbs (permissionless), ConsenSys (permissioned) and R3 (permissioned). CBN is seeking to explore how different blockchain platforms can help solve various problems in the industry.
Benefits of CBN to Telecom Carriers
The commercial settlement infrastructure of the telecommunications industry is an opportunity worth billions of dollars. With the launch CBN initiative, telecom companies have a robust governance structure that can help them to implement blockchain technology quickly and effectively. The consortium also represents a low-risk effort for these companies to stay current on blockchain trends within their industry.
CBN is an initiative by the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF). Their primary objective is to provide leadership and direction for the telecom industry by advocating common practices that enable globalization of business and the closure of the digital divide.
Marc Halbfinger, Chief Executive Officer of PCCW Global Chair, who also leads GLF said:
“When we set out along this journey, it was our goal to launch a platform that would enable multi-dimensional automation for the betterment of the industry. Now we are embarking on the next stage of this process by creating a truly open platform that will facilitate settlement among every ICT Service Provider, including carriers and cloud providers for all forms of ICT traffic.”
The Communications Blockchain Network is expecting to debut later this year.