Trust will make the digital world go round, better and faster

Monetizing 5G infrastructure and services will be based on collaboration and partnerships ranging from shared infrastructure to B2B2X offerings distributed across the value chain. This proof of concept sets out to identify the key business assurance capabilities that are needed to make such a marketplaces work, using distributed ledger technology (DLT) and creating new interfaces for integration with CSPs’ current systems.

Business assurance, fast settlement and trust between partners are fundamental to ecosystems’ success, regardless of the sector, from Industry 4.0 to smart cities, agriculture, the travel industry and beyond.

This Catalyst, Vertical industry telcos: A federated DLT-based marketplace, enables new business models and value propositions for communications service providers (CSPs) not explored in previous Catalysts, although it draws on a previous one, Blockchain-based telecom infrastructure marketplace.

The main goal is to deliver and assure digital services in way that is agile, cost effective and profitable for all the ecosystem partners and from that to identifity the capabilities and processes that are required. The solution will be demonstrated live at the TM Forum Catalyst Digital Showcase on July 30, showing an ecosystem that offers a range of physical and digital assets from RAN resources, to network slicing, cloud edge solutions and eSIM-based products.

Trust by design

The Catalyst is championed by Orange, Rostelecom and BT, with participants IOTA, Nexign, Nokia, and RTC ARGUS. Using TM Forum Open APIs, the team built a standards-based platform that by design has key capabilities embedded to create trust between all parties, reducing settlement time, risk and fraud.

To demonstrate real life use cases for federated marketplaces that cover the emerging needs of all kinds of CSPs, the team deployed a multi-site 5G Private Mobile Radio (PMR) network to support an enterprise’s transformation to Industry.4.0, including the dynamic management  of devices’ e-SIM subscriptions.

From their work in the Catalyst, the team is proposing a contribution to TM Forum Open APIs and associated data models to ensure the interoperability of dynamic resource exchange platforms and easy integration with current OSS/BSS solutions.

Trust is critical because federated marketplaces are a huge step away from the tried and trusted operating and business model of “make, buy, rent” for mobile network resources and/or infrastructure between partners. In that scenario, there is a long term commitment and the shared procurement rules are well understood. Trust and confidence are built over many years.

However, the CapEx demands of 5G deployments are immense and CSPs are looking to reduce this burden and energy consumption. The Catalyst shows a new approach to sourcing the assets they need, only for as long as they need them, to generate new revenues.

Auctions and on-demand sourcing

The federated market’s new models are based on auctions or on-demand sourcing. The benefits demonstrated in the Catalyst are automated matching of asset offers, requests, search and discovery, with automatic settlement of payments and all transactions have a tamper-proof audit trail due to the DLT.

The platform maximizes return on investment for asset providers and gives service providers the best choice of assets, which in turn delivers end-users/customers fast access to the resources they need. Use of the distributed ledger reduces the number of disputes, increases trust and confidence between all parties, and simplifies settlement reconciliations.

However, ensuring trust and confidence, transparency, traceability, sustainability and compliancy with regulation and legislation are foundational to the success of federated marketplaces. All those issues are addressed by this proof of concept.

Bridging the gap

Another aspect of the Catalyst is to bridge the gap between the many speclialized forums dedicated  DLT platforms. Implementing complex end to end use cases will sometimes need seamless interworking between those platforms, which is what the team’s solution is designed to do. It supports interoperability and interworking, with business assurance and trust embedded in the platforms and their interactions.

The bridging capabilities will be shown by the Catalyst’s contribution to the ground-breaking Mega-Catalyst – ecosystem assurance, demonstrated live on July 16. For the first time, three Catalyst teams are collaborating to integrate and interoperate their individual demonstrations assess the associated business models and value propositions.

The federated marketplace Catalyst will provide the Trusted Data Layer reference implementation to the mega Catalyst framework, along with the Business Assurance Layer contributed by the AI driven business assurance for 5G Catalyst and Multi-Partner Settlement Layer from the Digital business marketplace III.

This partitioning of the framework will help identify and assess the value created at control points for each engaged partner. Control points define and demarcate how responsibilities are split between those three layers and could be operationalized as governance application programming interfaces (APIs)  in supply chains.

In the following video, watch Aleksey Chernetsov from Rostelecom and Alexey Vedin from Nexign explaining how this initiative is beneficial to all kinds of CSPs and the wider industrial landscape.

Tayeb Ben Meriem, OAM Senior Standards Specialist at Orange, talks about the thinking behind the Vertical industry telcos: A federated DLT-based marketplace in the video below:

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