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Blockchain technology: emerging opportunities for operators

Enrique Velasco-Castillo Senior Analyst, Research

"The potential of blockchain solutions to disintermediate value chains may impact many areas of operators’ activity."

The next generation of blockchain technologies will enable more sophisticated applications and platforms, initially in M2M and finance, through the addition of smart contracts. This will open new opportunities for operators, but will also pose challenges to their existing business areas.

This report provides:

  • a discussion of what blockchain technology is and how new developments like ‘smart contracts’ (agreements formalised in code) and permissioned (private) blockchains could enable a wide range of applications relevant to telecoms operators
  • examples of potential telecoms applications of distributed ledgers and smart contracts – for example, programmatically selling public Wi-Fi or mobile data access to connected devices and autonomous M2M modules, or streamlining internal BSS and OSS processes by making them cheaper, faster, more scalable and transparent.