PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider, and Colt Technology Services have further progressed their blockchain Proof of Concept (PoC). Additional members of the ITW Global Leaders' Forum (GLF) are also getting involved in the initiative.
PCCW Global and Colt, in conjunction with blockchain start-up Clear, revealed in March that the parties had undertaken a trial that demonstrated how the inter-carrier settlement of wholesale international services could be automated through the use of blockchain. By using blockchain technology, the PoC was able to reduce this labour intensive process from hours to minutes.
The initial PoC used historical data as a test of the technology and its use case for the sector. Now, the parties have taken the trial a step further by ingesting actual live data feeds into the ledger, enabling traffic to be automatically verified and settled between carriers.
While the original two carriers are now using live data to verify and settle traffic, other members of the GLF have also seized the opportunity to get involved in the initiative, with the aim being to soon expand the bilateral testing between PCCW Global and Colt to encompass a multilateral series of relationships among the wholesale telecommunications industry as a whole.
Fellow GLF members now getting involved include BT, HGC Global Communications, Telefónica and Telstra.
Marc Halbfinger, Chief Executive Officer of PCCW Global and the Chairman of the GLF, said, "We are very pleased that this PoC is expanding to include more carriers. A lot of the conversations at the GLF have been around how innovative technologies such as blockchain can be used to improve the overall efficiency of the industry. With the PoC expanding to include more carriers, it is clear that the industry is seeing the benefit of becoming further aligned. Industry cooperation in this area will be incredibly powerful for the whole sector."
Carl Grivner, Chief Executive Officer of Colt, announced: "We were optimistic by the success of the initial trial, but utilizing live data was an important next step to prove the use case for blockchain technology in our industry. Not only did the second iteration of the PoC do what was intended - accurately match and settle wholesale traffic independently with live information - but it also signaled the future of telecommunications, whereby previously intensive manual practices can be securely automated to allow businesses such as Colt to invest resources into driving both our and our customer's businesses forward."
On the trial, Andrew Kwok, Chief Executive Officer of HGC, commented, "This expanded trial which now includes HGC, shows the momentous initiative of the GLF led blockchain work stream. This initiative eventually if positive, would certainly demonstrate a new business relationship among global carriers and reshape our business practice in the industry."
"We are convinced that blockchain is a relevant technology that will not only help the wholesale business to gain efficiency, but also significantly improve the efficiency of launching new services", concluded Juan Carlos Bernal, Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica International Wholesale Services.