TM Forum Community

 View Only
  • 1.  blockchain risks and telco

    Posted Jun 13, 2019 09:36
    I have been hearing how blockchain is well suited for Telecoms companies but what are the risks? Are there any?

    suzanne powell
    Digicel Group

  • 2.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    Posted Jun 14, 2019 03:46
    There are no more risks than using databases. In theory it is safer due to cryptography. What application of blockchain are you considering?

    James Crawshaw
    Heavy Reading

  • 3.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    Posted Jun 14, 2019 03:47
    I think it depends on specific use-case and how the solutions are implemented. Blockchains only makes sense  - "If your use case requires that all parties see the same set of data at the same time ?" 
     - (This can be called the 'data consensus (trustful data consensus)' requirement).

    Sukesh Kumar Tedla

  • 4.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    Posted Jun 14, 2019 05:32
    Yes, it is no more risky than a database. Or a filing cabinet.

    James Crawshaw
    Heavy Reading

  • 5.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 14, 2019 05:33
    From what I understand the block chain security is meant to be better and certainly no worse than a normal database. But given you now have many points on the chain security is obviously only as strong as the weakest point etc etc. By havia block chain then the "workflow" of transactions could be foresnicly looked at easily - so fraud would show up easier perhaps. For example there is a PO that leads to an order - that leads to goods received that leads to assets being used. If the numbers at each part of the chain didn't tally then that leakage would show up.   

    The question is now you have all this lovely data what will be done with it, will you want to use it to decrease fraud or is there another exam question posed. For example if each CDR is a block that feeds towards mitigation and billing, will you use that data to dynamically change the network at peak load ? Will that data be used to identify customers who have had a bad day and root cause deep dives launched. If you analyse workflows well then perhaps the block chain is an idea. But the risk I see is its a cool bit of tech that is just not used to give customer analysis. 

    P.S. I guess in essence it is what it is - (LI) its what you do with it that counts. 

    julian paul
    Liberty Global Services B.V.

  • 6.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 14, 2019 14:53
    Please have a look at the following information.  I've been looking to this recently. SoftBank is the principal investor.  The idea is well constructed The Blockchain of Carriers
    Google remove preview
    The Blockchain of Carriers
    TBCASoft designs a high performance secured consortium-based blockchain platform specifically for the telecommunication industry. This unified blockchain platform helps telecom carriers establish cross-carrier business and to provide ubiquitous services to global subscribers.
    View this on Google >

    Andres Vazquez del Mercado
    America Movil
    Center for Digital Transformation

  • 7.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    Posted Jun 15, 2019 01:44
    From our work with telcos on building a global blockchain network, we have identified a few areas to think about regarding risk in implementations:

    1. Understanding what data is shared, and what is kept private (to a telco, or to specific partners) - In blockchain networks, some data is shared by all and some is private, it is important to map which data will be viewable by who and understand how that fits into your privacy and security policies. This is sometimes a simple "Whats on the shared ledger?" question, and sometimes may be more nuanced (eg. when using zero-knowledge proofs, or storing hashed data).

    2. Controlling encryption keys - As blockchain systems tend to depend on certificates and private keys, its important to understand how keys are stored and protected. This is not different than SSL keys or other encryption keys.

    3. Protecting the Telco's DBs and network - Some data is stored privately, and in this sense (as mentioned above) there are the same security considerations as any other internal system with a database - backup, recovery, user accounts, network segmentations, etc.

    4. Governance - Effective blockchain networks bring together many distinct parties into as single shared network, with sometimes competitors and companies who don't know each other collaborating. Its important to understand the way the network will be run both from a technology/consensus perspective (eg. validators/sealers/notaries, choosing the DLT technology, upgrading, etc), and from an organization perspective (eg. dealing with bad actors, who can join).

    5. Adoption / Interoperability and Lock-in - Blockchain networks create the most value, when they have wide adoption. It is important to understand how the network will achieve wide adoption across partners who (as mentioned above) may be tough to get to align. An aspect to explore is how interoperable the specific implementation in, and what freedoms participants have in running, implementing and integrating. If the network is beholden to a single powerful entity, this may create negative centralization effects (such as centralization of risk, higher costs, less adoption, lack of innovation and flexibility, etc).

    Beyond these, it is always important to explore the technical characteristics such as performance, scalability, agility, flexibility, features and operational model - but these are true for any new technology or implementation.

    We at Clear are building software that uses blockchain technology to make the the wholesale trading and settlement process frictionless using automation, guaranteed smart contracts and cutting edge tech (and some cool math), and have been carefully considering the above risks in design and implementation.

    There are also companies (such as TBCASoft mentioned above) doing this for things like mobile payments, some carriers working on blockchain-as-a-service for enterprise customers and many more.

    As with any new technology, it looks like there will be a smart and careful learning process for risks and for benefits, however the trend we see is that there are robust solutions today, and we are working with leading carriers today on implementing a robust, global implementations.

    I would be happy to discuss further if this is interesting to you.


    Gal Hochberg

  • 8.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    Posted Jun 17, 2019 07:24
    ​1) Regarding Governance, In the Catalyst we ran last year , we showcased 5 use cases in the Telecom space and  we proposed 5 criteria to maximize the benefit or using Blockchain to prevent using Blockchain only for the sake of using it, either for re-engineering existing (all ready deployed)  use cases by CSPs for years  (the 5  use cases we showcased belong to this category) or for newly defined use cases which is the CSPs' expected goal of the Blockhchian . One criteria is that  "there  is no trust among the partners of the ecosystem"

    2) Regarding the interoperability, it was one key recommendation we proposed as takeaway of this Catalyst. Each plateform is designed / tailored for a specific use case(s), but  in our Catalyst we proposed to tell a global story by nicely combining the 5 use cases as a continuum that makes sense from Business point of view to the CSPs. From the  implementation side, there is a need for interworking  underlying platforms. The standardisation can help solving this problem and filling this gap along with others such as Privacy/ Security where GSMA and NIST and other SDOs are working on

    Tayeb Ben Meriem

  • 9.  RE: blockchain risks and telco

    TM Forum Member
    Posted Jun 18, 2019 07:39
    Can you please share with us the final presentation of this catalyst?

    Luis Bras
    WeDo Technologies