About the Client
The client is a government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications, and postal industries of the United Kingdom. It regulates the TV and radio sectors, fixed-line telecoms, mobiles, postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate. It also looks after the airwaves used by wireless devices like cordless phones, walkie talkies, and even some car keys and doorbells. It has received £700k from the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to explore how Blockchain technology could improve and manage UK landline telephone numbers.
There are three business challenges which the organization was facing:
- Challenge with IP based Calls: It was more comfortable to hide or change callers’ identity information through phone numbers and hence was difficult to trace and prevent nuisance or scam calls (a process known as spoofing). It resulted in a loss of confidence and trust in telephone services.
- The current process (where the subscriber changed its operator) routed the call through the operator, called the donor operator. The donor network routes all the calls to the network currently serving the subscriber, which proved to be a time-consuming process.
- Challenge with Additional transmission costs: The current process involved extra call set-up & switching activities compared to a non-ported call resulting in additional transmission costs.
- Challenge with Call quality: The traffic routed onward over a TDM network, which resulted in the loss of certain call features, thereby degrading the call quality, what would otherwise have been an IP-to-IP call.
The client chose Coforge for this engagement based on our proven experience in promoting trust using Blockchain.
- Coforge has built a common numbering database on Blockchain Hyperledger technology for the various telecom providers to maintain the phone numbers’ updated status.
- The common numbering database is used by Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (“STIR”) standard to ‘attest’ and ‘sign’ the phone numbers at call origination and ‘verify’ at call termination.
- The Blockchain technology provides a system for recording the transaction and their details in multiple places simultaneously. Unlike traditional databases, distributed ledgers have no central data store.
- Coforge has also built a standard Identity solution on Hyperledger Indy along with a numbering database that will deliver significant improvements to the UK’s dated porting arrangements.
- The interaction between gaining and losing providers is automated for all ports using common Identify and numbering databases.
- Rather than using the current onward routing scheme used for ported numbers in the UK, calls are directly routed.