Mobile Blockchain Pilot Completed By India’s Telecom Regulator

News | December 13, 2018 By:

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has successfully completed a blockchain pilot conducted in partnership with tech giant IBM.

In May of this year, TRAI published draft norms that proposed using blockchain technology to ensure that telemarketing messages are sent only to subscribers. Trai’s new rules require telecom operators to deploy blockchain technology to prevent unauthorized access of subscribers data, make system non-repudiative and enhance confidentiality.

TRAI has been working with IBM to explore how blockchain could address issues of coordination among multiple parties with respect to Do Not Call (DNC) registries and number portability.

“We have completed proof of concepts and pilots with all the major telecom providers and with Trai in this space,” said Sriram Raghavan, vice president of IBM Research. “We anticipate that, going into the New Year, we’ll start to see blockchain solutions getting rolled out.”

Raghavan said that everything from customer consent for the DNC service to whether the consent is respected is recorded on the blockchain. He added that this gives Trai, as a regulator, more visibility and spot malfeasance quickly.

“Mobile number portability, too, is a multi-party process involving a minimum of two telecom providers where blockchain can play a role,” Raghavan said.

Local telecom providers who participated in the trial have reportedly promised to roll out DLT-based systems in the next couple of months.

“We had a meeting (on Monday) and the telecom service providers are now in the process of aligning their vendors,” a Trai official said.