Can Blockchain Help Save AT&T?

AT&T has not been having a good year. The company is $180B in debt, and acquisitions of DirecTV and WarnerMedia have not brought in the expected amount of profit. AT&T announced in the summer of 2021 that it is divesting its media business as well as spinning DirecTV back out to a private equity firm, which will result in cuts in dividend yields. Although AT&T is a well-known company that is pioneering 5G networks, its current telecommunications operations leave limited room for growth into new areas. The company’s patents, however, may suggest some new directions.

In September 2021, AT&T received a patent for storing a home subscriber server on a blockchain ledger. The company seems to be integrating these technologies into its telecommunications services, as well as creating potential avenues for growth with some assets directed towards general blockchain protocols. In August 2021, AT&T received a patent for authenticating blockchain activity using location data. The company also has pending patent applications for dynamic pricing of media content using blockchain, split ledger cryptocurrency, and password management for wireless access points using blockchain. While AT&T will surely have its hands busy recovering from large-scale changes, it may also be able to make use of and/or license these technologies to improve operations and revenue using the exclusive positioning granted by patents. A company’s patent portfolio is an important asset, and Patent Forecast® provides a comprehensive look to help predict future industry movement.