Clear to Deliver Blockchain-Based Bandwidth-on-Demand Proof of Concept with Industry Leaders

We’re excited to announce that we’ve joined forces with leading service providers CBCcom, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Tata Communications, and technology vendor, Cataworx, to create a Bandwidth on Demand Proof of Concept (PoC). The PoC will demonstrate how blockchain technology can help telcos commercialize next-generation services such as IoT, VR and cloud, in record speed. It will be delivered in October at the MEF18 global networking event (MEF18event.com) in Los Angeles, California.

The Bandwidth-on-Demand PoC is the first step towards a guaranteed and secured new internet layer enabling new connectivity for people and organizations, wherever they are.” – Gal Hochberg, Clear CEO.

What problem does this solve?
New technologies, such as IoT, VR, autonomous cars, and cloud, are driving user demand for flexible, high-quality bandwidth, and a guaranteed quality of service. For example, a user may want to participate in a high-quality video call – which requires high-bandwidth- a few hours a day. Since high-bandwidth is expensive, this user will only want to pay for high-bandwidth services when they need it. The same is true for VR/AR, autonomous cars, IoT, and more.

However, current carriers and mobile operators can’t provide these on-demand services because their back-office systems don’t support automated multi-product inter-carrier financial transactions and operations with multiple carriers. On the operational side, the reasons for this include lack of a common language, use of disparate information and data models, and misalignment of processes. On the commercial side, reasons include limited support of usage-based performance metrics, and billing and settlement involving multi-party, multi-dimensional products.

A possible solution is for carriers to use a centralized authority to negotiate, bill and settle these transactions. However, due to the sensitivity of information in the telecom industry (related to contract details, pricing, etc.) and fear of vendor lock-in (having to ‘stick’ with a specific vendor), this isn’t a viable option.

How can blockchain help?
The blockchain creates one shared source of truth, eliminating the need for a centralized authority. This enables neighboring carriers to transact directly, flexibly and automatically without revealing any sensitive commercial or operational information to a third party.

By automating inefficient processes: Programmable smart contracts automate multiparty inter-carrier blockchain-based invoicing, payments, dispute resolution, SLA based remedies, and settling, thus guaranteeing service and payment. The process eliminates manual, labor intensive, and time-consuming elements of settlement, invoicing and clearing, accelerates quoting and invoicing, and enables synchronized inter-carrier usage-based billing.

What’s Clear’s solution?
By creating a blockchain-based commercial iterations, billing & settlement layer, Clear enables carriers to automatically discover, quote, deliver and settle multi-product, multi-party services, eliminating reliance on a centralized intermediating party.

Users get on-demand bandwidth when they need it for services like VR/AR, autonomous cars, IoT, and more, and telcos can commercialize these new revenue-generating services.

How does it work?
Cataworx will demonstrate LSO Sonata inter-carrier quoting solutions and LSO Cantata intent interfaces, enabling customers to rapidly discover and order services that span across multiple carrier networks. Clear will demonstrate LSO Sonata blockchain-based billing and settlement enabling carriers to bill for guaranteed network capacity on-demand, thus unlocking new revenue streams based on existing network infrastructure. Service Providers CBCcom, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Tata Communications represent a multi-carrier interconnected network environment.

Gal Hochberg, Co-founder and CEO of Clear Blockchain Technologies, said: “The telecommunications industry is producing one of the most exponential assets of the world today: bandwidth. With a growing demand for cutting-edge technologies such as cloud, VR, or self-driving cars, telecom companies have an opportunity to unlock new revenue-generating opportunities by offering data on demand for fixed and mobile subscribers. The Bandwidth-on-Demand PoC is the first step towards a guaranteed and secured new internet layer enabling new connectivity for people and organizations wherever they are.”

Richard Fung, CEO of China Broadband Communications (CBCcom), said: “These days, no company with an eye on global expansion can afford to ignore China. Demands for bandwidth is growing exponentially in China, e-commerce transactions, Smart Cities, IoT, AI, have all been a major driver of China’s digital economy. Our goal has always been to simplify the delivery of telecommunication services to help companies investing in China to do well. Likewise, China’s company going global, the Belt and Road initiative is also driving the demand for connectivity between China and rest of the world. I strongly believe, the successful roll out of this PoC will offer great benefits for global business, and redefine inter-carrier processes.”

Shahar Steiff, AVP, New Technology, PCCW Global, said: “Customers require reliable services that are based on managed connectivity, managed compute resources and managed storage resources, delivered with uncompromised security. Telecommunications carriers strive to automate the delivery of such services in order to reap the commercial benefits of measured and billable on-demand services that will yield additional revenues from existing infrastructure. This PoC demonstrates that such services can be realized today, and highlights the need of the industry to converge towards a unified modelling and operational approach, which are the prerequisites for such automation across multiple operator domains.”

Daniele Mancuso, Director Innovation & Engineering, Sparkle, said: “The ultimate goal of MEF3.0 is the creation of multiple ecosystems of interconnected Service Providers delivering their Customers with on-demand, certified, agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services. This PoC further raises the bar of the work that the Industry has done so far toward this direction, demonstrating how traditionally static and long-lasting processes such as Partners qualification, commercial iterations and settlements, can be now automated through real-time quoting portals and with the creation of decentralized circles of trust based on blockchain technology. We are delighted to participate to this highly innovative PoC confirming, once more, Sparkle as a technology & innovation driving force in the Industry.”

Matthew Ma, Vice President, Global Technology, Network and Operations Group, Tata Communications said: “Being involved in this latest proof-of-concept not only leverages our partner and technology ecosystem, it is also a step forward in demonstrating the potential value that blockchain can deliver by improving the ways in which we interoperate in the context of next generation services and ultimately the end-user experience.”

Brian Hedstrom, Co-Founder and CEO of Cataworx, said: “We are excited about bringing our software solutions to the telecom pre-sales operations space. We’ve spent the past year gaining a deep understanding of the pain points operators face with pre-sales and partner integrations. The consistent theme is a lack of automation where inefficient and error-prone manual processes are a bottleneck to delivering agile on-demand services. We have invested heavily in technologies such as collaboration, intent, natural language and AI to simplify the user experience. Cataworx is focused on driving down Telco operating expenditures and creating a revolutionary customer experience, moving more control into their customers hands. We remain committed to the success of the MEF LSO Framework and our team actively contributes to the Sonata and Cantata interface definitions.”

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF, said: “MEF18 Proof of Concept demonstrations, like this collaborative effort involving PCCW Global, Tata Communications, Sparkle, CBCcom, Clear, and Cataworx, are crucial to accelerating development and worldwide adoption of assured services, orchestrated across automated networks with MEF 3.0. We are delighted by the tremendous support of leading service and technology solutions providers who are participating in this year’s PoC Showcase. More than 50 companies will be involved in 20 demos. That’s double the number of participants in last year’s popular showcase.”

Engaged with major telecommunications organizations and carriers, Clear successfully completed a GLF-led PoC with PCCW Global and Colt for international wholesale IDD voice traffic, settling historical data for both companies in less than a minute. The second phase of the PoC integrated with the carriers’ production networks to settle data in near-real-time using automatic dispute resolution and settlement logic encoded in smart contracts, and was expanded to include additional carriers Telefonica, Telstra, and BT. Clear is launching additional PoCs in roaming and mobile messaging later this year.