The Telecom industry always gets a major make-shift with new technologies. The last decade has been monumental in terms of technological advancements across the sector. Now, where does blockchain, one of the most disruptive technologies in the present scenario, feature in the rapidly evolving telecom sector? Research suggests blockchain implementation across the telecom industries will skyrocket the global market value to USD 993.8 million by 2023. But, does the telecom industry need to adopt blockchain with immediate effect?
Why Should Telecom Companies Adopt Blockchain?
FOMO, (Fear of Missing Out), is quite natural and scary when it comes to the telecom industry. Failing to adopt new technologies is always equivalent to pushing your customers toward your competitors. However, experts say that the telecom industry has yet to see the full potential of blockchain technology.
TMT companies – Technology, Media, & Telecom companies mostly rely on third-party outsourcing to offer high-end services in non-core areas like payment, IT management, license management, R&D, and so on. Blockchain, at its full potential, can create a transparent and efficient system for all these areas in the supply chain.
- Blockchain can help to create an easy workflow for processing, tracking, and managing transactions. It can also aid in managing historical data, preventing redundant payments, and more.
- Blockchain technology can create solutions for managing physical and IT assets, licenses, and other auxiliary departments. With a decentralized digital ledger, TMT companies can handle multiple connections and B2B clients.
- Several countries have announced R&D tax breaks, and blockchain is ripe with several areas for a venture.
Towards End-To-End Automation
Blockchain-powered smart contracts facilitate complete automation across the telecom domain, especially in areas like invoice generation, contract renewals, streamlining monotonous procedures, refund processing, and more. Such automation will allow enterprises to avoid redundancy and dependency on manual labor, especially in complicated processes. Thus, the company can reduce the resources required, error rate, customer queries, and more.
Blockchain can transform the entire domain and how it operates. Notable instances include:
- The improved privacy protections make it easier to track gadgets and modulate international roaming fees.
- It becomes easier to distribute royalty information for multimedia services (streaming).
- It becomes practical to manage 5G network slice leases overseas.
The best example is the MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), a subsidiary data carriers for more extensive networks like Virgin Mobile, Asda Mobile, and more. When implemented, the blockchain can connect with the MVNO network and assist prominent players with subsidiary agreements, asset tracking, and more.
Is Blockchain Right For Your Telecom Company?
The general tech consensus recommends utilizing blockchain as an imperative for future growth and survival. However, the reality is not constantly the same. An investment without an informed decision can lead to improper optimization- expensive and futile in terms of profits.
The company must decide which approach is suitable for adopting the new technology. The timing, process, resistance management, and other processes are similar to any new investment or change. Questions that need to be answered include:
- How are you planning to coordinate your transition to blockchain technologies?
- How are you planning to adapt your resources to deal with the fundamental change in the business process?
- What is your current plan for modifying your company’s IT infrastructure?
The experts recommend analyzing your digital native system. Can you optimize your current process without integrating blockchain technology? How much time does it require to implement such a system to improve your process and track/ settle queries?
Cost-Benefit Analysis For Blockchain Technologies
This adaptation will not be a big decision if it is not for the significant investment and alteration of IT structures. If you wish to analyze whether it is right to adapt to the blockchain, the best method is cost-benefit analysis.
The initial expenditure can be steep, but it always comes with substantial long-term savings. The automated process would help to bring down your labor costs, intermediary costs, and other overheads. The benefit of this integration is an improvement in your value chain. You are assisting your resources to offer better solutions to exceed customer demands and provide an out-of-the-box experience.
How To Implement Blockchain In Your Telecom Company?
Blindly throwing out your legacy systems and hiring a team to install the new process and train your employees will always backfire. Here is how you should start your transition process.
Understand Where Transition Is Needed
The uses of blockchain are enormous, and the list is increasing every day with unique innovations. However, it would be best to evaluate which areas of your business will have high outcomes with blockchain technology. Always start with departments where the adaption of blockchain is imperative.
Decide how you plan to integrate the technology into your current operation. How are you planning to utilize the data? Using a single data source is always ideal for blockchain technology rather than syncing data from peer-to-peer networks. Talk to your stakeholders about the advantages and obligations. The entire hierarchy should be aware and on board.
Reviewing Legal Frameworks
There are several legal requirements for using blockchain. Some commercial blockchain platforms have in-built compliance checks. However, it is imperative to check all the laws regarding:
- Money laundering
- International and domestic taxation for blockchain transaction
- Smart contract legal framework
- Data protection law of the telecom industry.
Risk Identification And Management
Risk assessment is essential, and the aim is not to choose the option with zero risk. No matter how safe the technology is, there is always risk in adapting them, like the risk of downtime, employee resistance, reputation disfigurement, installation cost, etc. It is essential to understand the process by creating a committee with audit, finance, technical, cybersecurity, HR, and other departments.
Authority And Delegation
Adopting blockchain technologies does not happen over a fortnight. It is an extensive process that requires human assets from different departments, costly IT property, digital assets, and more. Thus, you should assign a team, determine the authoritative figure for the team and offer adequate powers for maintaining a smooth process. The team should have support from all departments and outside assistance if needed.
Remember to receive feedback during each stage to understand the success of the process.
The entire world is turning towards blockchain technologies. AT&T is using crypto payment options, Verizon is using blockchain data to create identity records and avoid SIM fraud, T-Mobile is planning a blockchain-based identity authorization, and so on. But, there are better choices than blindly following the flock. Know what’s suitable for your company, resources, financial strength, niche audience, and vision. The technical innovation is without a doubt revolutionary in terms of process optimization boosting document accessibility and security. However, being a new innovation, it is better to rely on enterprise-level blockchain solution providers for eliminating unnecessary hassles.