The Spanish Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom and the British provider Vodafone have concluded a test blockchain solution for the billing of roaming discount agreements.

Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica & Vodafone test blockchain for roaming payments

Almost a year ago, the clearing blockchain platform Clear published details of several trials conducted with Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone. The aim was to streamline commercial roaming processes between mobile operators.

The calculation of inter-carrier payments is a tedious task. Companies must record the minutes spent by a customer on a roaming network, reconcile the data with the roaming partner and then send or receive payments. This is a mostly manual process and prone to errors and inefficiencies. blockchain can potentially streamline this process, and smart contracts can speed up billing between operators.

„blockchain has tremendous potential to automate many of the industry’s manual processes and provide significant benefits to companies and their customers,“ said Eran Haggiag, co-founder and CEO of Clear.

The solution developed by blockchain start-up Clear is designed to reduce the cost of capital for telecommunications companies, support faster revenue recognition and enable more efficient settlement of their cross-company transactions and workflows.

Both Telefónica Innovation Ventures and Deutsche Telekom’s Telekom Innovation Pool had participated in a $13 million Series A investment for Clear earlier this year to help the start-up company develop its blockchain billing system.

Johannes Opitz, Vice President for Commercial Roaming Services at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, explained the benefits of using the blockchain solution for an evolving global telecommunications infrastructure:

„Reconciliation of roaming rebate agreements is a complex, costly and error-prone process […] With Clear’s solution, operators now have the ability to work seamlessly with an ecosystem of partners – a critical capability in the 5G and edge ecosystem where we foresee significant growth in operators‘ business relationships and business models“.

The three telecom giants are also calling on other operators to join the Clear solution’s network of users in the hope that automated roaming will spur new business partnerships to support the new services needed for technologies such as 5G, edge computing and the Internet of Things ecosystems.