08 September 2017
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Three carriers, including Sprint and the huge Japanese group SoftBank, have launched a consortium to use blockchain to make cross-carrier payments.
The carriers include US mobile group Sprint – in
which SoftBank is the biggest shareholder – and
Taiwan’s Far EasTone. They and SoftBank are
working with a US-based blockchain start-up called
The consortium, Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) is
seeking other telecoms carriers to join as members, said Doug
Garland, Sprint vice president of innovation and partnerships.
"CBSG is leading the telecommunication industry’s
understanding and development of blockchain technology. The
disruptive potential of blockchain on a global scale will be
fully realised when carriers work together and leverage the new
platform and ecosystem."
CBSG had a soft launch earlier this year with just SoftBank,
Sprint and TBCASoft, but now Far EasTone has joined and the
organisation is becoming a cross-carrier consortium that is
inviting other members. The formal launch will take place at
Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco, starting next
SoftBank, Sprint and TBCASoft say they have already succeeded
in demonstrating a cross-carrier payment platform system that
uses TBCASoft’s blockchain technology.
CBSG says it will promote research and development for the
platform with the aim of providing members with services such
as secured clearing and settlement, personal authentication,
IoT applications and other services in the future.
The three founder members have succeeded in demonstrating
cross-carrier top-ups, mobile wallet roaming, international
remittances and IoT payment on a cross-carrier payment platform
system using TBCASoft’s blockchain technology that
can be integrated with telecom carriers’ existing
The project, which connects carriers’
telecommunication back-end systems, is designed to eliminate
late transactions or transaction failures between
"TBCASoft is developing a cross-carrier distributed ledger
network consisting of telecom carrier-hosted servers running
the TBCASoft blockchain platform. We aim to work with global
telecom carriers to build a very secure and high-performance
blockchain system where disruptive services can be ubiquitously
provided to billions of telecom carrier subscribers worldwide."
said Ling Wu, founder and CEO of TBCASoft.
SoftBank knows it can successfully integrate its business
support system and mobile app servers with TBCASoft blockchain
platform, said SoftBank vice president Takeshi Fukuizumi.
"SoftBank is satisfied with confirming the implementation and
system performance of the TBCASoft’s blockchain
platform on which value transfer service led by telecom
carriers will be operated."