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Telefónica, Huawei, and UPM conduct first quantum cryptography field trial on optical networks

The field trial demonstrates the provision of secure communication services based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) that not only provides protection against the threat posed by quantum computation to current cryptographic algorithms, but it can also provide a much higher security level for any exchange of data.


Devdiscourse News Desk Last Updated at 14 Jun 2018, 15:06 IST Spain
Telefónica, Huawei, and UPM conduct first quantum cryptography field trial on optical networks
  • Telefónica, Huawei, and UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) have jointly conducted groundbreaking field trial, first of its kind, demonstrating the application of quantum cryptography on commercial optical networks. (Image Credit: Twitter)

Telefónica, Huawei, and UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) have jointly conducted groundbreaking field trial, first of its kind, demonstrating the application of quantum cryptography on commercial optical networks, and their operational integration by means of Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies.

According to Telefonica, the field trial employs the optical infrastructure provided by Telefónica Spain, connecting three different sites within the Madrid metropolitan area where software-controlled CV-QKD devices, developed by the Huawei Research Lab in Munich in collaboration with UPM are installed, together with SDN-based management modules developed by Telefónica's GCTIO Network Innovation team and the components required to integrate QKD with NFV and SDN technologies developed by UPM. The combination of all these elements made possible the demonstration of the use of QKD techniques in a real production environment, combining classical data and quantum key transmission on the same fiber, and shows how these services can be managed and used by different applications.

The field trial demonstrates the provision of secure communication services based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) that not only provides protection against the threat posed by quantum computation to current cryptographic algorithms, but it can also provide a much higher security level for any exchange of data.

"The ability to use new network technologies like SDN, designed to increase the flexibility of the network, together with new QKD technology is what allows us to really converge quantum and classical networks on the existing optical fiber infrastructure. Now we have, for the first time, the capability to deploy quantum communications in an incremental way, avoiding large upfront costs, and using the same infrastructure", remarks Vicente Martin, Head of the Center for Computational Simulation who leads the team at UPM.

"Telefónica Spain's optical network, in combination with our high-capacity photonic transmission systems, offer the required performance to provide secure channels based on quantum communication. This enhanced security is a key enabler for next generation networks, flexible, virtualized and software-defined," commented María Antonia Crespo, Director of Transport and IP Connectivity in Telefónica Spain.

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalization and number of customers with a comprehensive offering and quality of connectivity that is delivered over world class fixed, mobile and broadband networks.


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