The Economic Times is reporting that IBM is working with Indian telecoms to develop a blockchain solution for mobile number portability and "Do Not Call" registries.
"We have completed proof of concepts and pilots with all the major telecom providers and with TRAI [the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India] in this space," said Sriram Raghavan, vice president of IBM Research and chief technology officer for IBM India and South Asia. "We anticipate going into the New Year, we'll start to see blockchain solutions getting rolled out."
"Do Not Call" registries are national databases that telemarketers are supposed to consult to know who have opted out of such calls. Calling someone on the "Do Not Call" registry is a fineable offense for telemarketers. However, due to advances in technology, including caller ID spoofing – which allows a scammer or telemarketer to disguise his/her telephone number – "Do Not Call" registries tend not to work as planned.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is hoping that by using blockchain to keep tabs on the system, it will make it easier to figure out who is abusing the system and how. The proposed platform would record who made a "Do Not Call" request, the telephone numbers accused of violating the request, and mobile telephone portability data. By having this information on a shared ledger, it will theoretically be easier to identify fraud quickly.
TRAI is now in the process of selecting vendors to develop the system. Should the platform work, it would provide a model for "Do Not Call" systems worldwide.