China Mobile Corporation, one of the country’s largest telecom giants, has announced plans to integrate blockchain technology within its data business, as a means of powering data top-ups.
The firm, one of China’s three state-owned telecom companies, filed a patent with the State Intellectual Property Office back in 2016, which has gone on to be made public this week. In the application, the company set out how it plans to use blockchain technology to alleviate the processing demands on their current systems, by facilitating transaction requests through distributed ledger technology.
Distributed ledger technology, which powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, would allow for great automation of transactions and record keeping, removing the need for centralized systems and delivering a quicker, more cost effective result for the corporation and its customers.
The development, if successful, is likely to inspire similar applications of the technology, as other mobile networks globally look to integrate blockchain technology within their own businesses.
According to the application, users create an initial record in the blockchain with their first top up, which records relevant data within a ‘top-up node’. When the users goes on to request top-ups in future, the system would automatically debit the money from their account, while verifying the transaction based on the information already stored in the top-up node.
Once verification has been successfully completed, China Mobile would automatically allocate the data to the user’s account – processes that can be streamlined through the blockchain platform.
This would also allow for data to be recorded permanently and decentrally, creating and maintaining a chain of records tied to each customer account.
In the application, the group referred to a number of specific advantages inherent in deploying this kind of system on a distributed ledger.
“A centralized structure imposes a significant cost of security and trust as it needs to integrate a system’s safety, privacy and anonymity into a design…which inevitably increases the difficulty of technology renovation with even a higher cost of maintenance. As such, we need a new decentralized technology to manage the mobile data allocation.”