A Blockchain Policy and Charging Control Framework for Roaming in Cellular Networks

Ahmed Refaey, Karim Hammad, Sebastian Magierowski, Ekram Hossain

As a technology foundation of cryptocurrencies, blockchain enables decentralized peer-to-peer trading through consensus mechanisms without the involvement of a third party. Blockchain has been regarded as an auspicious technology for future cellular networks. It is able to provide solutions to problems related to mobile operators and user trust, embedded smart contracts, security concerns, pricing (e.g. for roaming), etc. When applying blockchain to cellular networks, there are significant challenges in terms of deployment and application, due to resource-constrained transactions. This article begins by introducing the basic concept of blockchain and then moves on to illustrate its benefits and limitations in the roaming system. Two models of roaming-based blockchain technologies are offered to show their suitability for cellular networks as opposed to traditional technology. Finally, potential issues and challenges of roaming-based blockchains are addressed and evaluated using the roaming use case in the EU.

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