Nexign’s Catalyst Journey Begins

Catalyst blog


The modern telecom technology is not only about serving the CSP needed yesterday, but also about creating forward-looking projects not to be left behind in the ever-changing world. One of the ways to do it is the Catalyst programme run by TMForum. It connects large CSPs (referred to as Champions) and technology providers (Participants) to work on a problem that might be relevant to the whole industry.

Aiming for Multichain Exchange

At Nexign we see the new collaboration models as a way to mitigate risks brought by disruptive market trends. We’ve been developing the Telechain Broker as a distributed global marketplace for digital products. This concept has been proven successful by a number of forward-looking CSPs joining the marketplace to try out the new distribution model, and it gave us the directions on how to move the idea forward.

First, blockchain technology for business is becoming a commodity, so it would make sense to move away from business logic implemented in blockchain itself, but rather use a standardized solution like Hyperledger and build the required business logic upon it.

Second, we can achieve additional reliability by giving CSPs a chance to connect to a large number of marketplaces and switch between them based on their financial and technical requirements. This requires a standard-based approach to make distributed marketplaces truly interoperable, and our expertise in BSS and blockchain experience make us competent to develop the new standards with the support of TMForum.

Third, with the growing consumer hardware support for eSIM, we wanted to make an emphasis on business cases involving eSIM distribution through the new global marketplace, making this process natural and seamless for the CSPs and subscribers.

With all that in mind, we proposed the Multichain Exchange concept as a new Catalyst project and started looking for partners to make it happen.

Before we start

Rostelecom (Russia’s largest fixed operator growing actively as MVNO) was the first CSP to join the project (and become our Champion in Catalyst terminology). With the rapidly growing MVNO project, they were interested in unlocking new business opportunities Multichain Exchange could bring, and previous experience with Nexign assured them of our technical expertise and understanding of the customer needs.

The first stage of any Calatyst project is matchmaking that helps attract extra participants, so that they can contribute their technology and expertise for the project to succeed. The key to successful matchmaking is Catalyst Action Week organized by TMForum on the coast of Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon, so Nexign and Rostelecom representatives came to join it.

It was a healthy mix of presentations, group activities and networking that is the foundation to new partnerships and evolution of the project idea.

How Catalysts succeed

TMForum has been running the Catalyst project for a few years now, so the tools and frameworks they provide are constantly improving. The new things this year include new add-on options for extra project promotion, as well as new nominations for the Catalyst awards. But, as it’s our first time and the first project originated in Russia, everything was new to us.

In addition to common matchmaking activities there were role-specific sessions giving teams a proven toolset to move on with their projects faster. We were most impressed by CurateFX, a tool for ecosystems design that is provided to all participants free of charge, and the Marketing 101 session that helped teams to come up with more dynamic descriptions of the projects to capture the attention of wider audience and avoid technical jargon.

Testing the idea

All the CSPs we talked to appreciated the new ways of eSIM distribution Multichain Exchange would offer. Compared to standalone user-facing marketplaces or potential solutions by mobile OS vendors, the way Nexign is approaching this challenge can bring a more balanced value chain, better integration and automation, and easier process for the subscriber, that will increase revenue and loyalty.

With separation of transport and business logic, we can concentrate on the later and trust the distributed infrastructure part to a technology provider.  We are negotiating with some well-known blockchain-as-service providers directly and through our partners.

There as a bunch of other company types that may become valuable participants in Multichain Exchange development, including multinational CSPs, M2M telecom specialists and non-telecom digital solution providers. The project is right now getting shape, and things change quickly, so we expect the best is yet to come.