Recently, Tech Mahindra Ltd announced the successful deployment of its solution leveraging Blockchain Technology for the telecom sector in India. The technology had an impact on 300 million mobile subscribers. The solution was designed to mitigate unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) or spam calls.
To know more about Tech Mahindra’s accomplishment, VoicenData interacted with Rajesh Dhuddu, Global Practice Leader, Blockchain at Tech Mahindra. The company is currently betting big on Blockchain as part of its TechMNxt charter and as a part of this charter, Tech Mahindra is progressively investing in next-generation technologies to cater to the customer’s evolving and dynamic needs. The digital transformation provider has already identified and is working on a holistic framework called Block Ecosystem that caters to varied verticals. With a specific focus on understanding more about the Blockchain deployment in spam call menace, VoicenData extrapolated through the interaction on Tech Mahindra’s achievement. Few excerpts:
VoicenData: What is Tech Mahindra’s findings on spam calls and its effect on mobile subscribers in India? How is a common man affected by spam calls?
Rajesh Dhuddu: Telecommunication services have greatly reduced the cost for initiating and maintaining communication, whether through SMS, phone call, messaging or email. However, it has also led to prevailing misuse by unregulated telemarketers who send spam messages to subscribers, leading to inconvenience.
The need of the hour, therefore, is to leverage new-age technologies to curb the menace of spam calls in our country.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) received a total of 83,908 complaints from telecom users receiving pesky calls despite opting for Do Not Disturb (DND) service last year. Almost 60% of these were voice calls and the remaining were largely promotional SMS. Compared to the number of mobile subscribers in India (118 crores in January this year), the number of unsolicited phone calls has increased by leaps and bounds. The need of the hour, therefore, is to leverage new-age technologies to curb the menace of spam calls in our country.
Unregistered telemarketers continue to spam customers, obtaining their consent through fraudulent and questionable tactics.
VoicenData: Why is it important to mitigate these spam calls?
Rajesh Dhuddu: For years, spam calls and messages have been a major nuisance to telecom subscribers across the country. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had established a “Do Not Disturb” (DND) registry in 2010. While the registry has more than 23 crore subscribers, unregistered telemarketers continue to spam customers, obtaining their consent through fraudulent and questionable tactics.
VoicenData: How has Tech Mahindra leveraged Blockchain to thwart spam calls?
Rajesh Dhuddu: As a part of the TechMNxt charter, Tech Mahindra is progressively investing in next-generation technologies to cater to the customer’s evolving and dynamic needs. Following Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendations, Tech Mahindra developed a Plug-n-Play solution, built on Hyperledger Fabric to mitigate the challenge and thereby showcasing its prowess in the Blockchain tech space.
Our solution includes a customer web application that includes preference registration, consent acquisition, dynamic preference setting, stakeholder onboarding, header registration, template registration, scrubbing service, and complaint handling and tracking. The solution enables effective monitoring of all commercial communications from the registered telemarketers that helps prevent unauthorized access of subscribers’ data and enhances confidentiality.
VoicenData: Can you share one significant case study of mitigating the spam calls?
Rajesh Dhuddu: We have recently deployed a cutting-edge solution leveraging Blockchain Technology for the telecom sector in India impacting 300 Mn+ mobile subscribers. The solution aims at mitigating the issue of unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) or spam calls.
The solution brought required control on the telemarketers to trace for violation with customer preference and enable telecom providers to prevent unauthorized access of their subscribers’ data.
In 2018, Tech Mahindra collaborated with Microsoft under the guidance of The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to regulate Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC). We created a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) based solution to help telcos address the regulatory and compliance requirements. The solution brought required control on the telemarketers to trace for violation with customer preference and enable telecom providers to prevent unauthorized access of their subscribers’ data.
VoicenData: Tech Mahindra has deployed blockchain-based solutions in many other verticals like digital payments too. How has this proved successful?
Rajesh Dhuddu: Tech Mahindra is demonstrating Blockchain capabilities in diverse sectors incorporating Manufacturing, Telecom, Financial Services, and Hi-Tech Industries. We participate in both Public & Private Blockchain areas. Tech Mahindra participates in Public Blockchains which are relevant to Government-To-Citizen (G2C) services, large scale peer-to-peer collaborations that mimic MMOG (massively multiple online groups) which are geographically widespread. We are building a new Blockchain protocol called Eleven01/ 1101, which adds to Made in India.
Specific to Private Blockchain which is relevant to Enterprise customers, we have leveraged Blockchain to empower our customers to drive digital transformation by providing an exceptional experience to their end customers and fulfill the unaddressed or underserviced needs. We do this through a combination of Platforms, System Integration, and Professional Services. Our implementations have helped our clients by providing ‘Expected Time of Arrival’ with clockwork precision for supply chain orders, enabling access to on-demand critical reports that establish regulatory compliances in case of cross border money remittances, ensuring parts provenance and visibility in supply chains, managing collections in completely opaque downstream lending activities, and empowering several hundred million retail telecom customers to manage their consent and preferences in an immutable fashion to avoid spam calls and text.
Tech Mahindra identified Blockchain as a possible disruptive technology that can impact the banking sector & the related IT systems at large.
In the Financial Sector, we have designed a solution for one of India’s largest public sector banks to offer a permanent record of audit transactions and help a single view of transaction information from various systems on the Blockchain.
Tech Mahindra identified Blockchain as a possible disruptive technology that can impact the banking sector & the related IT systems at large– this was ‘Industry’s First’ commercial grade solution for inward remittances deployed in the Indian banking industry.
VoicenData: How does the company intend to expand its blockchain-based services to the telecom industry?
Rajesh Dhuddu: Blockchain has the potential to solve unsolicited calls, or do-not-call, issues. It can also help in the creation of a national digital grid using the indefeasible right of use, smart contracts, and crowdsourcing principles through the tokenization of the existing fiber optic infrastructure in the country. Blockchain is increasingly being used by the government to eliminate corruption. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has commissioned a Blockchain-based solution for curbing the menace of unsolicited calls and spamming. Such initiatives can help build Blockchain capabilities across sectors, including telecom, media, travel and hospitality, healthcare and even public sector undertakings.