Blockchain Startup Clear Collaborates With Telecom Companies PCCW Global And Colt

News | March 14, 2018 By:

Blockchain startup Clear has collaborated with two telecom service providers to demonstrate that inter-carrier settlement times can be reduced from hours to minutes by using blockchain technology.

Clear, a blockchain wholesale services clearing and settlement platform, conducted a proof-of-concept (PoC) with PCCW Global, the international operating division of Hong Kong-based telecom giant HKT, and Colt Technology Services, a multinational telecommunications and data center services company headquartered in London. Both Colt and PCCW Global are members of the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF), where discussions on blockchain have featured heavily, and it was in this forum that the collaboration was cemented.

The objective of the PoC was to assess whether blockchain technology could be applied to make inter-carrier settlements more efficient, reliable, and scalable. The project was specifically focused on the settlement area of wholesale voice minutes, as the majority of telecom operators have similar processes for these transactions.

All parties involved implemented a bilateral private blockchain to record transactions, which were then reported to a public blockchain. Smart contracts were then used to rate call detail records, resolve disputes, and record the settlement transactions. The companies said the PoC was able to settle payments for inter-carrier voice traffic in less than 60 seconds – a process that could otherwise drag on into weeks and months.

“Today, despite the financial importance of these settlements to wholesale carriers, they still involve manual transactions which are costly for all parties,” the release stated. “In the trial, the application of blockchain’s decentralized, cryptographically enforced, immutable ledger technology resulted in tens of thousands of call records being analyzed and settled in a few minutes. Using blockchain technology, hundreds of hours of manual work were reduced to seconds of automated verification and settlement.”

Marc Halbfinger, Chief Executive Officer of PCCW Global and the Chairman of the GLF, said that everyone is talking about blockchain, but the use cases in the telecom industry have been fairly limited until now. He added that while this deployment is currently only at the PoC stage, through their collaboration with Colt they are eager to demonstrate how the many potential uses of blockchain across the industry can deliver value by improving the ways in which they interoperate.

Carl Grivner, Chief Executive Officer of Colt, said their goal to create a more agile, customer oriented organization, and one way in which they are doing this is by exploring the benefits of disruptive technologies, such as blockchain.

“Collaborating with PCCW Global and Clear is ground breaking, as we have demonstrated how blockchain can transform the way we conduct business in the telecom industry,” said Grivner.

Clear CEO Gal Hochberg said: “It is exciting for any business to create something that has the power to truly innovate how an entire industry operates. This PoC marks the beginning of how blockchain is set to revolutionize the telecom sector.”