Telefónica Tech has developed blockchain technology to help manage telecom towers

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In October, Atrebo, a Spanish telecoms infrastructure management firm, said it would use Telefónica Tech’s blockchain technology to digitize over 200,000 towers and other telecommunications infrastructure assets.

The ‘TREE’ platform from Atrebo offers a variety of infrastructure management features to assist mobile network operators with network deployment and operation problems such as network planning, site acquisition, installation, operation, and optimization. While Atrebo’s platform is used in the energy, smart city, and other vertical industries, telecoms are the company’s main market, and Telefónica is its biggest customer, having implemented the TREE platform in 13 of its 17 territories.

Manual processes and a complicated web of partners controlling various network deployment and operation have historically characterized network deployment and operation. As a result, it’s ideal for blockchain applications that require high levels of trust and the ability to track job handoff throughout a complicated ecosystem. Enter Telefónica Tech’s controlled blockchain platform, dubbed ‘TrustOS,’ which the firm has previously used to handle its supply chain in Brazil.

Telefónica Tech refuerza sus capacidades en consultoría de ciberseguridad  con la compra de Govertis - DCD

Telefónica Tech will extend TrustOS.

The new blockchain statement came at an intriguing time in the industry when concepts like open RAN, and the introduction of millimeter-wave (mmWave) radios are expected to increase the number of base station vendors, and edge modules from hyperscalers like AWS and Microsoft Azure will growingly coexist on racks with equipment from network operators and towercos. This may probably make tracking even more crucial for diagnosis and repair.

By 2022, Telefónica intends to roll out TrustOS to its whole Atrebo-managed infrastructure inventory platform. From an operational standpoint, the platform will keep track of incidents and issues, service levels, traffic data statistics, and any other information related to infrastructure modifications while in use. All relevant activities, including maintenance, radio equipment installations and removals, and leasing updates, will be visible.

Telefónica has bigger plans for blockchain, such as ‘tokenizing’ towers using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which may be used to sell tower rights or create new tower investment vehicles. While the NFT opportunity has yet to be specified, it may allow network operators and tower firms to purchase and sell tower interests in a way that maximizes the value of their assets.

Tower Automation Alliance

The new blockchain effort is the most advanced to come from the Tower Automation Alliance, a group of over 100 technology suppliers and consultants that founded the group in late 2020.

The organization supports telecoms tower automation and the use of technology to automate a variety of passive infrastructure activities for towercos and network operators to assist them in their digital transition. The partnership is also investing in digital twins, infrastructure security, green energy, and business intelligence, along with blockchain.

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