Ofcom, UK Plans To Manage The Country's Phone Numbers Using Blockchain

The UK’s office of communication (Ofcom) is set to embark on a study of how to explore the blockchain technology for the management of landline within its jurisdiction. As noted in a press release by Ofcom, it has received £700k from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The announcement by Ofcom made it clear that it would be implementing blockchain technology to manage and improve how UK’s telephone numbers are managed.
The present template of the UK telecommunication industry contains one billion landlines telephone numbers, which are either in use or reserved for allocation. Ofcom issues the block of the numbers to the telecoms operators that manage the numbers and its movement in and out of their control.
Meanwhile, the plan to introduce the blockchain technology into landline management will involve the process of telecommunication network movement from traditional analog telephone lines to an all-IP (internet protocol) infrastructure.
The tech will be beneficial to the industry and the consumer through Improved customer experience when moving a number between providers; lower regulatory and business costs; increased industry agility, and more effective management of nuisance calls and fraud.
Blockchain tech will ensure transparency between users and also the use of the underlying open source software code will be researched on its implementation to landline management. Also, the number database can be replicated with the distributed ledger with each user having a copy.
Meanwhile, high cost and barriers to collaboration have attempted developing a centralized database failed in the past. However, the blockchain tech offers an opportunity to build a cost-effective and future-proof solution.
Also, the technology and knowledge gained from the project are expected to be of long-lasting positive impact to the functionality of the organizations involved, which is inclusive of Ofcom.
Further, Ofcom noted that the firm would be able to test the solution before the solution is introduced into the industry and it will involve sharing of key learning, best practices, and the underlying code base, where applicable, with other regulators.
Mansoor Hanif, Ofcom Chief Technology Officer, noted that Ofcom would be working with the industry to explore how blockchain could make it quicker and more comfortable for landline customers to switch providers while keeping their number, and also reduce nuisance call. Also, Ofcom would be expanding its research into other areas where innovative technologies such as blockchain technology could be applied to benefit consumers.

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