Telefónica and Huawei shoot freakin' lasers down existing optical networks for QKD
Other teams, notably a Toshiba Research and Cambridge University Engineering Department, have made great strides in Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a technology that promises unprecedented secrecy.
While previous efforts have concentrated on dummy networks and the lab, Telefónica and Huawei's tests were carried out over existing optical networks.
Others have focused on getting the performance or speed of quantum cryptography systems up while Telefónica and Huawei grappled with getting the tech to work over existing fibre networks, overcoming problems created by signal degradation and other difficulties.
The field trial employed optical infrastructure provided by Telefónica Spain, connecting three 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 network functions virtualization (NFV) and SDN technologies developed by UPM.
As computational capacity grows, the time required to solve these problems becomes shorter, reducing the security of the keys and the communications they protect.