BubbleTone – Blockchain in Telecom
I am writing this article because just today I discovered a new (to me) project on the Bitcointalk.org forums: “BubbleTone“. In the following article I am going to explain what this project entails and in the end I am going to give you my thoughts on the project itself.
What is BubbleTone?
I am going to take a few quotes from their Bitcointalk thread, their OnePager and their website to show what BubbleTone is.
Description of the project
BubbleTone – Blockchain in Telecom: The first decentralized telecom ecosystem. It allows mobile network operators, phone users and service providers to interact directly.
The first decentralized telecom ecosystem.
Allows mobile network operators, phone users and service
providers to interact directly.
Eliminates roaming costs & offers additional revenue streams.
Vision of the project
We directly connect mobile network operators and end users globally on our blockchain-based marketplace. As a mobile operator in Europe with over 20 years in telecom, we are going to leverage this blockchain platform to enter the global market and offer it to all operators.
How does it work?
- Blockchain replaces old-fashioned and costly roaming technology totally by impementing smart contracts into mobile operators’ interactions.
- The Blockchain in Telecom is based on “Proof of Importance” consensus to process millions of smart-contracts between mobile operators around the world.
- Step 1: Any mobile carrier can publish prepaid tariff plans (“Offers”) as smart contracts. These Offers are visible to all other operators and their subscribers.
- Step 2: Subscriber requests his home operator for service abroad.
- Step 3: Home operator sends smart-contract (“Request”) with Digital Identity hash and Financial Transaction to the Blockchain.
- Step 4: Smart-contract is executed, payment and the Subscriber’s identity are sent.
- Step 5: Visited operator services Subscriber directly by uploading his own mobile profile onto Subscriber’s SIM-card through OTA platform in several seconds.
The Problem and The Solution
- International roaming now means prohibitive expenses both for telecoms and subscribers around the world.
- Inter-operator charges for entering the roaming market now exceed $20 million.
- Developing countries are most hit from exceptionally high roaming prices in a market dominated by a few telecom giants.
- With BubbleTone Blockchain, travelers can swiftly become legitimate local customers of any foreign operator in the country they are traveling to.
- They do not need to replace their SIM card and they can retain their home number.
Any mobile carrier can publish prepaid plans as smart contracts on the BubbleTone Blockchain. These offers are visible to all other operators and their subscribers. When a subscriber selects an offer, a new smart contract is created with the subscriber’s digital identity and payment transaction directly to the foreign operator.
||Initial version of smart contracts is ready.
The first “Offer” and “Request” are on the Blockchain platform. Demonstration of the platform at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (February’18). Integration with major eSIM platforms to download mobile profiles onto SIM cards
||Web-API for integration of mobile operators and service providers.
Integration of Digital Identity into Bubbletone app. Commercial launch, with “Offers” from 10+ mobile operators are on Blockchain, low rates in 80+ countries.
||Global Mobile Profile approval by International Telecommunication Union.
Update Mini Nodes to participate in processing smart contracts.
BubbleTone Blockchain – White Paper Page 25 of 31 New features in the Bubbletone app: Voting platform based on Blockchain, 4K videoconferences, transfer of fiat money and crypto currencies
||Expanding list of mobile operators and service providers connected to Bubbletone Blockchain Ecosystem.
The first 1 million transactions are processed
|Q1 – Q4, 2019
||Signing agreements with mobile operators worldwide to activate the Global Mobile Profile.
First prototype of a global SIM-chip to be embedded into mobile devices. Expanding list of mobile operators and service providers connected to the Bubbletone Blockchain Ecosystem. 10 million transactions are processed
BubbleTone Demo Videos
The following video shows a live demonstration of mobile carriers’ interaction via Blockchain.
The next video shows a brief demonstration on how subscribers can be connected with local rates and LTE quality around the world.
Who is the intended demographic for BubbleTone?
BubbleTone is being developed for users as well as mobile network operators:
|Make calls and use data during travel worldwide at great local rates with direct connection to local operators
||Any operator can become global without complex network integrations
|No need to change your SIM-card or phone number
||Direct access to international telecom market with millions of new customers
|Next generation messenger packed with amazing communication features
||Increase in revenue through distribution of value-added services.
BubbleTone Mobile App
The BubbleTone team has already created a beta version of their mobile app which is currently available on iTunes and Google Play.
I have tested the app for a few minutes and it did run fine so far. Here are three screenshots I have taken of the user interface:
Their mobile app is marketplace for connecting subscribers and local network operators globally. It also is a messaging and lifestyle app customizable for operators needs and content delivery.
The Global Market for Mobile Traffic and Roaming
According to the research of the BubbleTone team their market consists of:
- 1,000+ small & medium-sized operators
- 10,000 online service-providers
- 1,3 billion travelers a year
The traditional roaming market is huge but it is also failing. 71% of all roamers globally remained silent, with just 1% of subscribers consuming 80% of all traffic in roaming. This costs the telecoms industry billions in lost revenue. Operator revevenues have fallen 11% in 2017 globally. The average revenue per user is less than 75% of its 2015 value.
The BubbleTone Token
Their token is called UMT which stands for Universal Mobile Token. The Token will be sold at the ICO with a capacity of listing on cryptocurrency exchanges. There is only a limited amount of tokens to be issued and the tokens that are unsold after the crowdsale will be burned.
The tokens will be used in smart contracts to perform transactions. They can also be used to top up user balances to pay for telecom services.
The Hard cap for the ICO is 35,000 ETH.
|01.02.18 – 10.02.18
||Pre-ICO (+31.5% bonus)
||10% each week
|11.02.18 – 20.02.18
||Pre-ICO (+20% bonus)
||10% each week
|20.03.18 – 20.05.18
Predictions until 2020
- Thousands of Service provider can join the BubbleTone Blockchain Ecosystem.
- Every Interaction between users, operators, and service providers create new smart contracts in the BubbleTone ecosystem.
- The potential is over 1 000 000 000 smart contracts by 2020.
BubbleTone offers investors to become node holders and earn revenue from processing smart contracts on the BubbleTone Blockchain.
Easy to Start (Nodes)
UMT holders can set up their own nodes to earn Universal Mobile Tokens (UMT) on smart contracts processing. Growing demand and limited offer of the tokens provide the great revenue stream for each participant.
This is how the Node system works:
- Step 1: Set up either a Super Node for one million UMT or a Mini Node for 1000 UMT.
- Step 2: Millions of Smart Contracts created by operators and service-providers.
- Step 3: You earn UMT on each transaction.
- Step 4: You will receive extra income from the Network Development Fund (includes 100 million UMT).
- Step 5: With an annual growth of 10x your earnings should also increase if you own a Node.
The team consists of 25 members and 15 advisors. I will only list the first three of every group. You can see the rest of the team here: https://bubbletone.io/#team
- Yuri Morozov who has been a Founder of four active telecom companies with $50 M in annual revenue.
- Oleg Pravdin who is a Telecom visionary, Founder of three start-ups in the USA, Russia and China.
- Sergei Ivanov who is the CEO of “Allo Incognito” (which is a mobile virtual network operator).
- Keith Teare (Successful serial technology entrepreneur; Executive Chair at Accelerated Digital Ventures; TechCrunch founding shareholder and EasyNet, Europe’s first consumer Internet Service Provider)
- Dr. Norman Lewis (Telecom expert
Norman was running PWC’s innovation programme,
He also worked in Orange UK as a Director of Technology Research,
Founding Director of Future-Diagnosis,
Executive board member of the MIT Communications Futures Programme.)
- Samson Lee (Founder & CEO of CoinStreet; Executive Chairman of China (Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau) Greater Bay Area TechFin Association; Co-founder of Hong Kong Blockchain Centre; Co-Founder of Ethereum south China and south Asia communities; Chief Crypto-economic Advisor of Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange; Advisor of Universa.io; Asia President of Next.TV Inc. and Chairman of STM Digital Group.)
My thoughts about BubbleTone
The few times I traveled to other countries, I always tried to avoid using the mobile internet there, obviously because of the humongous roaming fees.
Even though there are similar services to BubbleTone, they all have disadvantages:
- Local SIM cards
- You need to look for a point of sale to setup a local SIM card, which may be complicated by a possible language barrier and sometimes requires several hours.
- Risk of losing the user’s main SIM card.
- Change of the user’s home number.
- Wi-Fi Hotspots
- You need to search for an access point.
- Permanent reconnection between hotspots.
- These hotspots usually require a password, which disrupts the continuity of the network’s connection.
- Roaming Hubs:
- Complex and expensive, escpecially for small and medium operators.
- As a result, it takes up to three years and 10+ million USD to launch global coverage offer for subscribers.
- Project Fi powered by Google:
- Offers tariff plans with low rates (about $10 per GB) in 135 countries, but only works on Google smartphones.
- Requires a monthly subscription fee ($20 per month).
- Does not support LTE quality in most of these countries.
- It is a proprietary solution which could not be implemented by third-party operators.
- Apple Sim
- Only works on a few iPad’s.
- Has rather high rates (three to five times higher comparing to local prices) in most of the supported countries.
- Is proprietary as well.
BubbleTone does not have these disadvantages, which is why I would use them if they would be ready to use.
I spoke to one team member to ask him a few questions for this article and he already had pre-prepared answers to all my questions. This lets me conclude that their team is very well prepared in every aspect of their project. The Roadmap is quite short but very concise. Because of my interaction with the team member I would only conclude that their team definitely can fulfill their goals in a timely manner.
Of the three problems they want to solve, I like this one the most: “Developing countries are most hit from exceptionally high roaming prices in a market dominated by a few telecom giants.“. I rarely see projects on Bitcointalk.org who really care about the humanitarian aspect: It is essential for the people in developing countries to have access to cheap and reliable internet so they can learn from the internet for example.
The global market for mobile traffic is huge and it is very possible that many operators and users change to BubbleTone if they can indeed become better than their competitors. If this scenario is going to happen the price of token will most likely rise substantially.
BubbleTone already has quite a big team. Like described above, the members of this project have a lot of experience in their respective fields which makes it even more likely that they can build a very successful project. In addition to their core members, they have many advisors with equally or even more experience in various fields.
ICObench and TrackICO both gave them a rating of 4.4, which I would agree with, considering the information I read about their project, my interaction with their team and the text I wrote above.
All in all, considering the things I wrote in my article above, I can only say that this seems like a project with a tremendous chance of success which I will definitely invest in.
If you’re now interested in investing in this project, just visit their website: https://bubbletone.io/.
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