Innovation review – Buying, sharing, and reselling internet services as NFTs

The concept of Web3 as a new iteration of the World Wide Web, incorporating concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technology, and token-based economics, is revolutionizing industries. The impact of its use cases has also spread into the telecommunication industry. The possibility to buy, share and resell internet services as NFTs is a game changer that leading telecom providers are exploring.

How can NFTs be used in the provision of internet services?

Non Fungible Tokens leverage the underlying blockchain technology to offer many use cases. In recent years, NFTs have been widely used to prove digital art ownership. Developers have continued to explore using the cryptographic nature of NFTs to append services and attach inherent value to each unique token. 

These developments mean that NFTs can now be redeemed for crypto, community airdrops, or grant internet access or access to events. These new possibilities open new worlds of opportunities within Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and traditional markets. 

How does 3air enable internet connectivity through NFTs?  

3air is on a mission to transform the landscape by providing in-house broadband internet services while partnering with internet service providers to ensure equitable access to opportunities for approximately 78% of the African population without stable internet access. The platform uses proprietary technology to provide broadband internet access in major African cities without laying physical cables (a traditional barrier). The platform will also leverage blockchain technology to provide banking services to its previously unbanked population. 

NFTs are unique, indivisible, transferable, and capable of proving scarcity, and the popularity of NFT marketplaces reflects their potential. 3air will use NFT technology to prove user/device identity and embed transferability to connectivity tokens. 

The uniqueness will facilitate a new environment where users can buy, share, and resell internet services in an external marketplace. When it functions properly, it will create a peer-to-peer market where internet connectivity tokens can be traded across borders as NFTs. The connectivity will ensure an affordable decentralized mesh internet for everyone. 

The technology already has real-world applications – read more about K3 Last Mile

3air will add new locations every 4 months (depending on funding) in the following order – Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Guinea, Congo Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Sudan, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Senegal. 

3air’s ecosystem will implement two forms of NFTs – Device NFTs and Connectivity NFTs.

  • Device NFTs

NFTs are unique and therefore used to prove ownership of digital art or community membership. 3air NFTs will be embedded in hardware systems such that each unique token identifies a specific hardware device in the ecosystem. 

This NFT category has several use cases. For example, a custodian of a hardware device will be required to stake/embed a certain number of 3air tokens (monetary value) to the embedded NFTs. 

If the custodian acts in bad faith, their staked tokens are slashed. Users can also trade the NFTs in external markets to indicate the transfer of ownership, with all transactions traceable on the blockchain. Device NFTs will include the image and the serial number of the hardware device and other data required to connect to the 3air ecosystem.  

  • Connectivity NFTs

Connectivity NFTs combine with device NFTs to grant access to the internet. Users can mint, buy and sell them in the marketplace. Each NFT will have a USD value tag and contain information such as the type and location of internet services required. When a connectivity NFT is activated, it provides value to the user. 

Connectivity NFTs can be time-based, so they no longer provide value when the validity period expires. The NFT and transaction records are helpful for the user and ecosystem expansion. The NFTs can be deactivated at any moment and transferable to other devices. 

Other possible uses of NFTs in 3air

NFTs extend novel flexibility into the telecommunication industry. The possibilities are endless, and secondary telecom service markets are expected to begin trading and exchanging value to unprecedented levels in the space. The growth can be seen as an evolution of mobile internet bundles, also popularized by African communities.  

Blockchain technology will eliminate the need for third parties, empowering and enabling new business models and philanthropic donations by sending connectivity NFTs to the Device NFTs of schools, hospitals, or communities in need of financial aid.

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