SoftBank-backed blockchain group doubles carrier membership to 12

SoftBank-backed blockchain group doubles carrier membership to 12

A carrier consortium planning a global blockchain platform has doubled its membership from six to 12 – and it is now working on global remittances.

The six new members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) are Axiata, PLDT, Telin, Turkcell, Viettel and Zain. They join Etisalat, Far EasTone, KT, LG Uplus, SoftBank and Sprint.

Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank – which is the biggest shareholder in Sprint – set up the group in September 2017 along with US blockchain specialist TBCASoft.

CBSG says it aims to provide carriers and their customers with various services such as secured global digital payments, clearing and settlement, personal authentication, IoT applications and other services using blockchain technology.

Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioğlu said: “By transporting valuable digital assets over mobile networks in a secure and transparent framework, blockchains can speed the growth of the digital economy and help us to deliver new services for our customers.”

The CBSG consortium is separate from the blockchain-based proofs of concept that are taking place with the support of the International Telecoms Week Global Leaders’ Forum (ITW GLF). Colt and PCCW Global took part in the first trial under this scheme, to speed up voice settlements. Other carriers have joined the GLF project.

Katrina Luna-Abelarde, PLDT’s head of international and carrier business, said: “The inter-carrier blockchain technology will definitely bring enormous benefits to PLDT’s overseas customers whom we have been serving for over 15 years.” In particular she pointed to global remittance services. “We seek to empower our global customers with CBSG’s new platforms and solutions.”

The SoftBank/TBCASoft consortium says it is setting up a new working group that will focus on global remittance services. “Blockchain technology is well suited for these types of transactions; streamlining processes to better serve consumers,” said the CBSG. “The blockchain platform and solutions proposed by the CBSG consortium are specifically designed for telecom carriers and will help them create and extend their services beyond traditional markets and borders.”

Telin CEO Faizal Rochmad Djoemadi said: “The core attributes of blockchains, which is shared ledger, can ensure trust and safe transactions between all participants which potentially can generate new services especially in the digital asset transactions area, mobile transactions and international remittance.”

Terzioğlu said: “We must look beyond simply extending the connectivity of existing telecom infrastructure. As mobile carriers, we are well positioned to offer a ‘blockchain-as-a-service’ ecosystem and we must use this advantage.”

He added: “Being a part of this leading telecom blockchain consortium will help us to enhance our services and improve customer experience on our digital platforms.”

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