SEOUL -- In cooperation with its Japanese partners, KT, a major telecom company in South Korea, will carry out the quality evaluation of hybrid quantum cryptography communication using equipment from different manufacturers on a long-distance test network between Seoul and the southern port city of Busan.
Hybrid quantum cryptography communication was implemented between Seoul and Busan, using domestic equipment and technology from Toshiba Digital Solutions, a Japanese company that provides system integration services, and software solutions. It is the first time in the world to implement hybrid quantum cryptography communication in long-distance sections.
In the 5G era, the importance of cybersecurity in mobile communications will rise exponentially. Quantum cryptography has emerged as an essential solution for safeguarding critical information because it is impossible to copy data encoded in a quantum state. South Korean companies have tried to lead the standardization of quantum cryptographic communication technology.
"We will continue research, development and investment to implement quantum Internet, not just quantum cryptography communication," KT's convergence technology lab head Kim Yi-han said in a statement on March 28. For the quality evaluation that will last until April 15, KT will utilize its quantum cryptography service quality parameter, which was approved in February by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an international telecommunication technology standardization governing body.
KT and Toshiba Digital Solutions would operate an open QKDaaS testbet for two years from the second quarter of 2022 to expand a quantum industry ecosystem at home and abroad. The testbed operates in a section between Seoul and Daejeon to support the evaluation of quantum cryptography communication technology and the development of next-generation application services.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method that implements a cryptographic protocol involving components of quantum mechanics. QKD as a service (QKDaaS) is a subscription-type service in which a business operator builds quantum cryptography communication facilities and provides only quantum cryptography keys to customers.
KT said the testbed would enable technological cooperation between domestic and foreign quantum cryptography communication companies, provide a better test environment for equipment manufacturers, and increase the competitiveness of domestic technologies.
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