AT&T, Vodafone and T-Mobile: blockchain use cases emerging from communication service providers

Blockchain holds promise as an enabler for service providers for a wide range of internal and external (customer-facing) use cases, ranging from Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile device security, to payments, supply chain management, asset tracking and logistics.

Retail, manufacturing and healthcare companies are the most likely industries to take advantage of these capabilities, but there are many companies that can benefit from the secure trusted ledgers enabled by blockchain, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

While AT&T launched a blockchain service portfolio back in 2018 targeting enterprise customers, few other operators have launched blockchain offerings until recently. GlobalData is now seeing mobile operators such as Verizon, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone starting to use blockchain for an array of unique capabilities. 

Verizon plans to use the technology for mobile security by setting up a ledger for vSIM encryption, which is significant as operators look to replace physical SIMs with virtual ones that provide flexibility. By using a blockchain for vSIM management it becomes much harder to carry out a SIM-swap attack because the rightful owner of the SIM controls the private key that authenticates the updating of data on the blockchain. 

Kathryn Weldon, Research Director at GlobalData, explains: “Verizon should investigate the ability to use the secure vSIM blockchain for new offerings that could include different wireless plans for different devices, or the ability to offer value-added services for particular devices. The multi-operator vSIM could also be used as a way to help customers roam easily when traveling. As security for vSIMs is a differentiator, the operator should also use the new patent to fortify its positioning by offering a higher level of security than competitors as it transitions customers to vSIMs.”

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems subsidiary recently announced the launch of the…

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