The Future of Blockchain in Telecom in Asia Pacific

The Telecom Industry in the Asia Pacific region is expected to witness high growth in the coming years, owing to the increase in smartphone penetration and tech-savvy Internet users. In recent years, the APAC region has been the biggest contributor toward global subscriber growth with governments across countries investing in improving Internet penetration and digital drive to reach the rural population. Approximately half of the Global Mobile subscribers live in APAC. With increasing investments in 4G, 5G, fiber broadband, and spectrum in the APAC region, the CAPEX for telecom operators in this region is also expected to increase.

Among other emerging technologies, the governments in this region are focusing heavily toward regulating the blockchain technology. For example, regulators in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are providing the needed thrust for blockchain innovation by establishing regulatory measures to ease testing and piloting of blockchain projects.

In 2018, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), founded in 1957, a research body that comes under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology carried out a trusted blockchain initiative under which China’s 3 big telecom operators, China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom, will jointly drive the new effort focusing on blockchain applications. This is a government-backed telecom effort that includes other companies such as Huawei and ZTE as well as blockchain start-ups Qulian Technology and ChainNova.

Few Partnerships and Collaborations in this Region Include

  • In 2019, Tech Mahindra partnered with Microsoft in India for creating blockchain-based solutions for combating spam calls.
  • In 2018, NTT, a Japanese telecom giant, announced to invent a new contract agreements system based on the blockchain technology.
  • In 2018, Japanese telecom giant Softbank Corp., in partnership with TBCASoft, completed a blockchain PoC that allows P2P mobile payments across different carriers.
  • Tech firm such as IBM has been working with Indian telecom firms and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for offering blockchain solutions and addressing problems of coordination between multiple parties in mobile number portability (MNP) and to Do Not Call (DNC) registries.
  • In 2018, South Korean telecom company KT Corporation, launched a proprietary blockchain network that aims to use the technology across different areas such as data roaming, ID verification, and energy trading.

Conclusion

Although the innovation around blockchain is mainly concentrated in the US and Europe, the applications of blockchain are spreading rapidly across the APAC region. This region is poised to become a hotbed for blockchain-related trials and innovation across multiple sectors including finance, IT, telecom, supply chain, and others. The APAC region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of around 82% in the Blockchain Solutions in Telecom Market.

– Sonam Chawla,
Research Analyst,
Infoholic Research