Global Telecom Industry Association TM Forum Trials IOTA’s Tangle Technology

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Global telecommunications industry association, the TM Forum, recently announced the “Mega Catalyst” project which will leverage IOTA’s Tangle to enable telecom firms to freely interact with supply chain and distribution partners to lay the groundwork for Industry 4.0 solutions.

The Nitty-gritty of the “Mega Catalyst” Project

New Jersey-headquartered TM Forum is a global association for service providers and their suppliers in the telecom industry. The Forum comprises over 850 member companies, including ten of the top ten world’s largest telecom service providers, collectively generating more than $2 trillion in revenue and serving customers across 180 countries.

In a recent blog post, TM Forum unveiled the ambitious “Mega Catalyst” project that combines what it calls three “catalysts” into one project “to test plug and play capabilities around industry 4.0 business assurance.”

For the uninitiated, catalysts, per TM Forum, are rapid proof-of-concept projects that bring together large and small companies to develop innovative solutions to common challenges while simultaneously following best practices and standards of the association to ensure scalability, reuse, and reduced costs and risks.

For the “Mega Catalyst” project, the Forum has highlighted three specific catalysts:

  1. AI-driven business assurance for 5G
  2. Vertical Industry Telcos: a Federated DLT-based Marketplace
  3. Digital Business Marketplace III – Delivering end-to-end multi-partner Industry 4.0, now! – Phase III

The Mega Catalyst will attempt to learn how the aforementioned three catalysts can work together to deliver a predictable, and secure approach to all the partners in industry 4.0.

Using the Tangle and R3 Corda

Among the three catalysts, the Federated DLT project will use the IOTA Tangle to provide an immutable trusted data record of the physical devices.

Similarly, enterprise-grade blockchain platform R3 Corda will play a key role in the Digital Business Marketplace III project by securing ownership of the virtual plug-and-play supply chain.

To enable the Mega Catalyst, R3 Corda will extract the IOTA Tangle data along with other relevant data from the firms in the supply chain which will then be exposed to the “AI-driven Business Assurance Catalyst.” The blog post reads in part:

The AI-driven business assurance Catalyst provides ecosystem trust and transparency by assuring revenues and business goals, identifying new controls that assure the completeness, correctness, and trust of the marketplace, and using the distributed ledger as a data trust mechanism for these controls.

It is worthy of note that the Mega Catalyst is already underway and has helped the TM Forum gain some vital technical insights.

The blog post concludes:

In this process of developing a new Business Assurance approach to ecosystems, the three Catalysts have offered powerful insights to how the individual ‘layers’ can deliver the required capabilities to expose the necessary services and data at control points for ecosystem assurance. These control points define the demarcation between the ‘layers’ and could be operationalized as potential assurance & governance APIs in the implementation of the supply chain use case.

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