International mobile roaming is a service that allows mobile users to continue to use their mobile phone or other mobile device to make and receive voice calls and text messages, browse the internet, and send and receive emails, while visiting another country.
Roaming extends the coverage of the home operator’s retail voice and SMS services, allowing the mobile user to continue using their home operator phone number and data services within another country. The seamless extension of coverage is enabled by a wholesale roaming agreement between a mobile user’s home operator and the visited mobile operator network. The roaming agreement addresses the technical and commercial components required to enable the service.
Intermediaries like clearing house and roaming agreements increases the roaming cost for the subscriber.
Every operator needs to set up a roaming agreement with other operators.So that they can avail the service of operators outside of their coverage area.It is a time consuming and costly process which in turn increases the customer’s roaming charges.
Blockchain can replace these agreements with automated smart contracts .
The process will be as follows:-
1. When subscriber visits a new area which is out of coverage for their home network operator, they will get a list of operators and offers by operators in that area.
2. Subscriber can choose any offer and directly create a request to their home operator to avail that offer service .
3. After that, a smart contract agreement b/w home operator and visitor operator is created .
4. Home operator sends some amount of user’s balance to the smart contract.
5. Visitor operator then ensure via smart contract that visitor operator will get paid after providing service.
6. Visitor operator downloads the operator’s network profile in to subscriber sim card and activate the service.
7. After providing service visitor operator will send a report to smart contract.
8. Smart contract will process the report and send required service fee to the visitor operator.
Above process consist of following major areas of development:-
- Smart contracts : Smart contract to offer services and get paid for service.Smart contract must include the functionality to ensure that visitor operator is not providing any fake service reports.
- Blockchain client : A blockchain client which will be used by operators to interact directly with subscribers, other operators and service providers.
- Consensus Engine : Based on high transactions we can either choose tendermint or graphene .
- Mobile app : A mobile app which will be used by subscribers to view operators and subscribe to the services of operators without changing the sim card.
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