2019 was a groundbreaking year for Syniverse in the integration of blockchain in our solutions, and 2020 is already shaping up to be bigger. Now, more than ever, the internet of things (IoT) and other new connectivity technologies have become crucial to the global economy, with people having stopped traveling while depending more and more on communication platforms that continue to explode in growth.
Blockchain in particular has emerged as a critical technology to manage this connectivity, opening a new era in the efficiency, transparency and security of the world’s transactions. Syniverse has been steadily making investments in this technology in parallel with the explosion in connected networks and devices, growth of new connecting technologies like 5G, and rising expectation for the security and authentication of online transactions by businesses and consumers. This has just led us to one of our biggest achievements with blockchain so far.
Building on a successful proof of concept last year, we just launched Universal Commerce, the industry’s first live mobile roaming solution for the IoT and 5G that is fully compliant with the new GSMA Billing and Charging Evolution standard. Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform and tested in several pilot projects, Universal Commerce uses blockchain to replace many outmoded manual processes and instantly validate new wholesale billing and charging processes for clearing and settlement services.
The solution delivers an enhanced level of security, transparency, and rapid validation, enabling mobile operators to implement new business models with more business partners faster. Specifically, Universal Commerce enables “smart contracts” to be coordinated and executed between mobile operators or other partners. This smart-contracts capability of blockchain technology helps determine the rules and commercial arrangements governing each transaction between parties through a consensus process, and it helps improve customer efficiencies by reducing the friction of doing business. Moreover, blockchain technology provides a “zero-trust-based” ecosystem, which allows mobile operators and enterprises to work in a simplified way to eliminate entry barriers and enable quicker time to market.
More broadly, Universal Commerce addresses how today’s ever-increasing ecosystem of interconnected networks and transactions is redefining the way that companies do business. This is especially true in the area of ensuring accuracy in transforming relevant agreed contractual information into actual settlement and payment of related invoices, since all these transactions must be monetized quickly and securely. With new technologies like 5G and the IoT adding even more connectivity and complexity, the future of transaction monetization increasingly lies in the ability to seamlessly and securely monetize any type of transaction that requires validation, as well as the ability to provide an audit trail.
We initially validated our blockchain solution by working with the IBM Garage to design and build a pilot using the IBM Blockchain Platform, and together we developed a proof of concept with two Tier 1 international telecommunication companies last year. In continuing the work on that proof of concept, Syniverse, along with several customers, evaluated the benefits of the new GSMA standard in combination with blockchain technology and applied the lessons learned from our trials in this latest Universal Commerce version.
We’re excited about what lies on the horizon in this fast-moving technology space. Together, our two companies offer a compelling solution that combines Syniverse monetization-and-settlement expertise with advanced technology and IBM’s blockchain leadership. Following this launch of our Universal Commerce solution, I’m looking forward to building on this momentum this year.
Dennis Meurs is responsible for strategy, product development, and business development for Syniverse’s full portfolio of transaction, clearing, fraud, and security services, including blockchain. He joined Syniverse in 2013 and has more than 18 years of experience in senior-level clearing, settlement, and revenue management roles for a range of leading telecommunication companies.