Open Standard API Inter-carrier Service Automation and Blockchain Settlement
Communication Service Providers (CSPs) today must tackle multiple challenges to provide seamless global services to customers. Some of the critical questions CSPs must answer to run a profitable and efficient global service through a network of partners, include:
- How to meet the changing expectations of the new generation of customers?
- How to manage multiple partners within a CSP’s ecosystem?
- How to increase the level of automation in the internal network and at the inter-carrier level?
- How to quickly and easily reconcile billing between multiple partners in an environment where 100,000s of transactions need to be tracked?
Amartus has developed a solution that allows CSPs to deploy open standards-based APIs and automate inter-carrier services interfacing to their existing infrastructure without the huge effort required to mediate between every proprietary API used by every single partner. Together with this, the blockchain technology is used for accurate billing. Using open standard APIs, the solution allows E2E dynamic services by automating order management and trouble ticketing. The blockchain technology automates the reconciliation of inter-carrier transactions, guaranteeing the accuracy of the settlements between the parties.
The Problem. How to Create a Global Multi-Provider Network?
Imagine two operators, UScom and UKcom, that provide independent connectivity to their respective customers. They also want to sell each other’s services for example, when an enterprise customer requires connectivity between two offices in the USA and UK. Each partner needs to share information to set up services across the two networks and doing this manually will result in a long service activation process, typically 6 to 8 weeks. As each side has their own independent BSS environment, integrating each sides proprietary APIs to add automation will be time-consuming and costly. The second challenge is how to reconsolidate thousands of transactions generated for a final settlement figure and shorten the lengthy process of sharing each other’s independent records and having to agree on the discrepancies.
The Solution. Amartus Gateway with Blockchain Platform
The Amartus Gateway easily converts each of the partner’s propriety APIs to an open standard API. This allows each side to interconnect without the problem of integrating each sides proprietary APIs, every time they partner with a new Service Provider. To address the issue of payment reconciliation, the Amartus Blockchain platform is used to provide accurate, shared, trusted and secure ledger, using the agreed pricing from the Service Agreement. Now, with this shared and trusted ledger, reconciliation is no longer a long process of agreeing on discrepancies and trying to accommodate the other side’s claims.
- A US investment bank is expanding its operations into the UK, which needs to be connected back to their HQ in Atlanta. The Bank selects the required service profile via UScom’s customer portal to create a connection between Atlanta and London offices.
- UScom creates a part of this connection between the Atlanta office and the point of network-to-network connection (ENNI), based in Dublin, IRL, internally. However, the connection from the ENNI to London requires setting up and activating by UKcom.
- UScom’s BSS triggers a proprietary API call out to the Amartus Gateway, containing the service description and office location.
- The Amartus Gateway turns this into a standard API call, which is sent to UKcom’s system. The Open Standard API call is translated into the proprietary API used by UKcom and processed by their BSS.
Now, the E2E service between Atlanta and London is launched automatically, without manual intervention.
- As part of the service, there is an associated SLA. UKcom has an outage in their connection between Dublin and London for 2 hours due to a configuration mismatch when a redundant circuit re-booted. As per the Service Agreement, UKcom needs to pay UScom a penalty fee.
- A trouble ticket is created and passed to the other side via the Amartus Gateway.
- When the ticket is resolved, the “Time Out” of services is known from to the time stamp given for the start & end of SLA violation. The smart contract uses the time stamp to calculate the penalty fee.
- The fee is applied in the form of a new transaction and therefore taken into account in the reconciliation process.
All transactions between the two partners are collected by a blockchain probe supplied as a part of the Amartus Blockchain platform. The Amartus blockchain ledger, distributed and shared by each side, is updated with every transaction received, therefore showing the current balance at any time to either partner. At the end of the accounting period, an invoice is generated, showing the reconsolidated figure for that period.
It’s secure. The Amartus Blockchain technology uses cryptography to link blocks together to form a secure immutable chain of data. Once the block has been added to the existing chain, it cannot be changed. Anyone who was able to intercept one of these blocks, is unable to decode any information, hence it’s useless for them. No middle man required. This forms a trusted set of data between the two partners involved in that particular transition and part of the circle of trust, with data anonymity: neither side has to know who the other side’s customers are.