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Chinese, International Telcos Explore ‘Blockchain + 5G’ Paradigm

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Telecoms companies are increasingly looking to combine 5G and blockchain operations – particularly those based in China, per a new report that suggests blockchain development is as now as important to telecoms firms as next-generation mobile networks.

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Media outlet Communication Information News, via East Money, claims that some 23 telecoms companies based in 12 countries all over the world have been exploring ways to integrate blockchain technology advances since 2016. But now, it claims, some firms are looking to go a step further by looking for ways to combine blockchain with forthcoming or existing 5G, or the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks, rollouts.

The report’s author points to research conducted by China Telecom that points out that Chinese companies, in particular, have been looking to mix blockchain with 5G for the past two years.

In fact, China Telecom itself was a major presence at a blockchain conference held in Wuzen in 2019, where the company talked about issuing blockchain-powered international standards for 5G networks, as well as blockchain SIM cards (BSIMs), as well as inter-regional payments platforms that make use of blockchain technology.

China Mobile, meanwhile, is believed to be at work on a platform that will allow its partners to build blockchain apps on, along with projects that will help developers lower the technological boundaries that currently restrict them from blockchain-powered progress.

China Unicom, meanwhile, also has blockchain plans, and together with China Mobile is conducting joint research into ways to apply blockchain technology to telecoms networks, particularly 5G.

Additionally, both China Unicom and China Mobile have teamed up with Guangdong-based telecommunications equipment provider ZTE on another, separate project, that involves developing a decentralized business platform framework for use in blockchain-powered IoT networks.

The report claims that other international telecoms companies that are involved in 5G are also looking at blockchain technology, and could also seek to apply the technology to their 5G plans.

Spain’s Telefonica, America’s Verizon and the UK’s Vodafone have all spoken about the possibility of using blockchain technology with 5G technology, with an executive from the latter talking about possible IoT, blockchain and 5G integration back in October 2019, in an interview with a publication run by Swedish telco Ericsson.

The Chinese author also points out the fact that other non-telecom companies in the communication field are also looking to branch out into blockchain, and even cryptocurrency, mentioning Line, Japan’s biggest chat app operator, which has integrated a crypto exchange into its platform. Kakao, the dominant force in the South Korean chat app scene, has also floated similar ideas, and has a rapidly expanding crypto and blockchain subsidiary, as well as a mainnet and a cryptoasset.

South Korean carriers SK and KT also have expanding 5G and blockchain businesses, including mainnets of their own and multiple joint stablecoin projects run in conjunction with local authorities in their home country.