PLDT hops at blockchain wagon

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. has joined a global telecom consortium to develop inter-carrier capability using blockchain.

“We look forward to working with our operator peers to develop the world’s most secure and fit-for-purpose Blockchain-as-a-Service.”

Dominant telecom player Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Co. (PLDT) has joined a consortium of global telecommunications carrier to jointly explore how they can work together on building a next-generation cross-carrier blockchain platform and ecosystem.

PLDT said joining the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) would boost the development of an innovative platform designed explicitly for the telecom industry using blockchain.

“The inter-carrier blockchain technology will definitely bring enormous benefits to PLDT’s overseas customers whom we have been serving for over 15 years,” said PLDT head of International and Carrier Business and PLDT Global Corp. president Katrina Luna-Abelarde.

PLDT is the latest carrier from ASEAN and South Asia to join the CBSG formally. The others were Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata), PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin) of Indonesia, Viettel Telecom Corporation (Viettel) of Vietnam, Zain Group (Zain) of Kuwait and Turkcell of Turkey.

Abelarde added, “With the transformation of their lifestyles in the digital era, they require the streamlined solutions proposed by the CBSG Consortium, such as global remittance services, among others. We seek to empower our global customers with CBSG’s new platforms and solutions.”

The CBSG Consortium was launched in September last year by U.S.-based blockchain technology company TBCASoft, Inc. with the aim of collaborating with telecom carriers across the globe to develop an innovative platform specifically designed for the industry.

Japan-based SoftBank Corp. (SoftBank), Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (Far EasTone) and U.S.-based Sprint Corporation (Sprint) were the founding members of the consortium.

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

“As we transform into a New Generation Digital Champion, Blockchain has been identified as a digital platform opportunity which, by design, is extremely well suited to the global telecom operator ecosystem of trusted, connected and distributed parties,” added Axiata Group chief strategy and marketing officer Dominic P. Arena. “We look forward to working with our operator peers to develop the world’s most secure and fit-for-purpose Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) infrastructure, upon which we will build the next generation of digital services for our consumer and enterprise and government customers.”

At the same time, the consortium announced the creation of an additional blockchain working group that will focus on global remittance services. Blockchain technology is well suited for these types of transactions; streamlining processes to serve consumers better.

The blockchain platform and solutions proposed by the CBSG Consortium are designed explicitly for telecom carriers and will help them create and extend their services beyond traditional markets and borders.

“Blockchain is an emerging technology that is changing the way of doing business in every industry. With CBSG global cross-carrier blockchain platform and ecosystem, we are looking forward to not only bring various services such as top-up, roaming wallet, secured clearing and settlement, personal authentication, IoT applications, etc.… for our customers but also enhancing their experience in the digital era” said Doan Dai Phong, director of Viettel International Business.