Spain’s leading telecommunication company, Telefónica, has recently struck a partnership deal with the Association of Science and Technology Parks of Spain (APTE). The Telefónica blockchain initiative grants 8,000 regional firms access to blockchain technology through a trial of the Hyperledger blockchain platform. Telefónica plans to eventually roll out its blockchain initiative to more than 10,000 firms in Spain, allowing them to fully integrate blockchain technology into their processes and reap the benefits of the distributed ledger.
Telefónica Blockchain Initiative
The Telefónica blockchain initiative will leverage Hyperledger nodes deployed at 52 locations belonging to Spain’s Association of Science and Technology Parks (APTE). This pilot program is scheduled to last for three months and will encourage the participating companies to build a variety of applications on the Hyperledger blockchain network. Reports reveal that an experimental phase of the program will also allow these participating companies to create and manage their native cryptocurrencies.
Spain’s APTE will deploy the blockchain network used in this program via its Cloud Garden service developed in conjunction with IBM back in April last year. ATPE’s Cloud Garden service was created as a middle ground interface to ease the process of synthesizing and adopting multiple technologies like Big Data, blockchain, and AI.
Commenting on the benefits of the Telefónica blockchain initiative, Maria Jesus Alamzor stated that:
“Companies housed in these scientific and technological parks will be able to benefit from the advantages of blockchain technology without having to face the inherent complexity of it or have to dedicate resources to acquire the knowledge necessary to make the most of it.”
Blockchain in Telecommunication
While many are already familiar with blockchain numerous advantages in supply chain enhancement, fintech, and food traceability, there are several other areas like telecommunications where blockchain merits are less explored. Specific vital attributes of blockchain technology are rightly suited for solving complex problems related to telecommunication service delivery, data communication, and network processes.
Blockchain technology allows network participants access to data on a shared, immutable ledger. This principle of “shared access,” when applied to telecommunication processes can allow for new possibilities. For instance, a new type of command can be developed and introduced into the traditional communication channels to boost efficiency and tremendously improve trust amongst all parties. Also, blockchain integration allows only participating members authorized and secure access to specific data; this could enable telecom companies to provide services that ensure the security of their clients’ confidentiality and privacy.
These new blockchain-enhanced telecommunication services could disrupt the telecommunication industry as a whole. Due to the complexity of business processes within the telecommunication niche, industry experts foresee a market size growth for blockchain telecommunications projects from USD 46.6 million in 2018 to USD 993.8 million by 2023.
Telefónica eyes Blockchain
From all indications, more telecommunication companies will start exploring blockchain-based solutions to improve their services across the board. Telefónica is investing in the technology so that it can remain a significant player in its field going into the future. The company has admitted to being blindsided by internet sensations like Whatsapp and Skype in the past, and now, it sees blockchain technology as a way to secure its future.
To this end, Telefónica has established a partnership with leading blockchain service provider, IBM. Aside from leveraging IBM’s Hyperledger for its experimental pilot projects, Telefónica also worked with the tech giant to enhance the transparency and reliability of data collected by different networks in the process of routing international calls. This project sought to tremendously improve the precision of data collected while delivering various telecom services and was made possible thanks to the IBM blockchain platform powered by the IBM Cloud Service.