Jiang Wei, the chairman of China Telecom Blockchain and Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Joint Lab­o­ra­tory, explained in an interview published on Chinese news portal, Cebnet, that blockchain technology has significant use cases that could improve the 5G mobile network. 

According to estimates by China Telecom in 2019, China’s 5G services are expected to have approximately 170 million subscribers by the end of 2020. Wei said that China Telecom expects blockchain to play a crucial role in trusted management, secure interaction, and efficient collaboration among multiple participants of the network and devices.

Making 5G more seamless and convenient

Wei stated that Blockchain in 5G will introduce social capital in the 5G landscape. He believes that this will help the industry crowdsource the 5G infrastructure. He also noted his belief that blockchain will help realize 5G resource sharing and usage tracking.

China Telecom is also experimenting with blockchain to improve international roaming services. He sees Blockchain as a way to eliminate the need for third-parties. If he’s correct, this could make related services more seamless and convenient.

There remain hurdles in blockchain / 5G implementation

“Before we could see an efficient integration of blockchain and 5G, there are multiple issues that need to be dealt with blockchain technology,” said Wei. “Of those, the legality and security aspects of smart contracts are a major concern.” Wei continued:  

“In addition, from a design perspective, smart contracts cannot be repaired or upgraded. Therefore, 5G smart contracts need to formulate standardized solutions for bug fixes and updates.”

On the other hand, scalability and interoperability are two hurdles that hinder the integration of these two technologies. With proper cooperation and experimentation by global institutes, Wei says we can still integrate the two technologies — leading to better communication services throughout the world.

In August 2019, Cointelegraph reported that China Telecom published a white paper explaining their idea for 5G blockchain phones.