IBM Blockchain Pilot With India’s TRAI Telecom Provider Finalizes To Improve Mobile Data Records

Blockchain Pilot For Mobile Data Records By TRAI Is Complete

Recently, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) decided to take on a pilot with blockchain technology to learn about the benefits that it could offer their mobile network systems. Though there were many potential benefits, some of the options that were specifically being trialed were the mobile number portability (MNP) and the Do Not Call (DNC) registry. To perform this research, they enlisted the support of IBM. According to Indian daily newspaper The Economic Times, their pilots have been completed as of December 12th.

The test involved IBM, along with other tech firms. The vice president for IBM Research, Sririam Raghavan, said that their collaboration involved proof-of-concepts (PoC) and pilots with “all the major telecom providers.” However, whether in lieu of anonymity or unauthorized announcements, the VP refrained from naming exactly who those telecom firms are.

With the new application, Raghavan said that companies will have access to a private distributed ledger, requiring “customer consent” to store both DNC and MNP data. Mobile number portability allows a cell phone number to be moved from one network to another when a user switches their provider. The Do Not Call registry lets users keep their number from being used by telemarketers.

The hope of the new technology addition is that the agency will be able to “spot malfeasance quickly” with their upgraded monitoring techniques. Presently, there are telecom suppliers already making progress on agreements with tech firms, according to a TRAI official on Monday. The participating companies are working to setup the modified systems, but consumers shouldn’t expect them for another “couple of months.”

The plan to integrate blockchain into these mobile data systems was announced in May, as the agency discussed the tracking tools that will help find scammers with unregistered phone numbers. IBM has already been a part of this effort last month with Telefónica, a telecom supplier in Spain. In their collaboration, they have been working to manage traffic in the international mobile network more adequately.

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