TCXC: Blockchain in Telecom — a real use-case implementation by TelecomsXChange

Introduction

Telecommunications companies have been going back and forth on how blockchain can benefit their operations. I have seen lots of content out there but no real world example on how it’s implemented by a communications service provider, therefore i want to share with you how TelecomsXChange decided to use blockchain to improve a specific part of its platform, where we thought decentralizations makes sense. While also making sure that we make it affordable for communication service providers (CSPs) to utilize it.

In my opinion utilizing the blockchain in telecom shouldn’t be complicated, At TelecomsXChange, we always aim to make advanced technologies simple, we took the time it takes for CSPs to interconnect from months or years to seconds.

Here is what we want to achieve, give buyers or sellers a one click option and or a single API call to keep a replica of important data on the blockchain, like prepaid account balances on daily basis, and an easy way to verify the transactions and view its content in a human readable format (Text) not just hexes or binaries.

As shown below, to achieve this will develop a Smart Contract on ETC network, it will be responsible for storing the data we push from TelecomsXChange on to the blockchain.

The second part is to make the data stored in readable in Text format, we will use base64 encoded in transaction or similar encoding. For example go to https://kovan.etherscan.io/tx/0xdf9bcced5803278bd91141029f86500fb5b2bb23e14febcec37dc1eaaa87486e#eventlog and go to last event (12th). and start switching Hex dropdown to text.

In our case, it will be written there: {Carrier Name, Account balance: e.g $41150}, by default each transaction will have a time stamp that looks like this:

Since storing data on the blockchain is not free, the buyer or seller that wishes to store their data on the blockchain will be charged certain fees, depending on how frequently they want to update the ledger on the blockchain.

Some CSPs might be interested in updating the data once a day, while others want to do it every minute, both options are possible but the fees will defer depending on how frequent you want to update the records.

Costs:

According to https://ethgasstation.info/ right now it is around $0.065 for 32 bytes, but it may change really quick. Also this price is for ETH, ETC is cheaper than others.

In ETH/ETC it would be around 20000 gas for 32 bytes, which for ETC would be around $0.0024 for 32 bytes right now. so to sync a 1000 records then estimated cost would be “1000 x 2 x 0.0024”.

The reason we’re multiplying the price by 2, is because we’re storing the data in Text format (base64 encoded in transaction or similar encoding)

For space economy you can even just post daily changes, so if your company does not have calls/messages today it wouldn’t get published to the blockchain.

P.S: When developing a Smart Contract, you can publish the source code or not publish the code ( in such case it will be published only in binary form) , the typical situation is to publish the code of the contract on some explorer for users to be able to verify what it does, for this smart contract will be open source, so that telecom operators using Telecomsxchange can review, contribute to and maybe re-use if they want.

The Final User Experience

Once we have done the backend work, the final user experience will be simple.

Each buyer or seller on the market place will have a web option to sync their balance to the block chain, for X fees.

The user will also be able to set how frequent they want the data to be updated on the blockchain.

Each time the update is synced to the blockchain, we’ll email the user notifying them about this change including a URL to verify the transaction directly on the blockchain using a blockchain explorer.

For advanced users (Developers), we’ll make an API endpoint to manipulate this option, like turning off or on the feature and changes sync options via Application Programming Interface.

That’s it for now on how we’re using the blockchain at TelecomsXChange, what do you think about this use-case, do you find it useful ?

Thank you for reading, i hope you have found this article insightful.

Cheers!

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Telecom Entrepreneur, Open Source Believer, CPaaS Evangelist — CTO @TelecomsXChange

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Ameed Jamous

Ameed Jamous

Telecom Entrepreneur, Open Source Believer, CPaaS Evangelist — CTO @TelecomsXChange

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