IBM logo on a building. Dice Insights
Filed on April 4, 2019, and granted on December 17, 2019 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the patent describes a system that solves the current problem of switching mobile service provides while keeping your phone number.
Currently, this process is handled by a number portability service, which IBM argues is inefficient, costly, and slow.
Interaction with service provider administrators, paperwork such as porting forms, exchange of SMSs, submission of personal identity documents, and payments of existing bills, all constitute a part of a conventional number portability process, which can take up to 15 working days depending on the service provider.
These limitations can be removed by using blockchain technology in the process of switching mobile service providers, argues the new patent. The process will become “faster, more efficient, and less costly”.
The above illustration depicts only one example of switching mobile service providers while keeping the same phone number described in the patent, where:
Several other illustrations and explanations provided in the patent images describe other examples that use blockchain technology to vastly improve on current number portability services provided by mobile service providers.