28 Nov 2023
Collaboration on quantum key distribution strengthened after SpeQtral's selection for nationwide project in Singapore.
SpeQtral, a startup in Singapore specializing in quantum networks, has strengthened an existing collaboration with Toshiba’s “Digital Solutions” business unit, which produces quantum key distribution (QKD) hardware.
The extended deal follows SpeQtral’s recent selection as a key partner to deliver Singapore’s “National Quantum-Safe Networks+ (NQSN+)” - intended to be country’s first nationwide quantum-secured network.
Announced earlier this month by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the NQSN+ project will see SpeQtral partner with telecoms firm SPTel.
“To implement this project in the next several years, SpeQtral will leverage Toshiba’s leading fiber-based QKD and quantum key management system (Q-KMS) product suite,” SpeQtral said.
“The Toshiba product boasts proven track records in multiple quantum-safe network testbeds and industry use-case developments across the US, UK, France, South Korea and Japan.”
Satellite and fiber
The project award follows successful trials of the technology in quantum-secure networks on SPTel’s fiber network last year.
SpeQtral has been collaborating with Toshiba since 2021, starting off with proofs-of-concept in quantum communications and establishing the first quantum-secured link across the SPTel’s networks.
“The success continued with the launch of the Quantum Networks EXperience Centre (QNEX) last year, a platform to showcase the transformative potential of quantum technologies,” SpeQtral added.
“Now integral to the NQSN+ project, the partnership is poised to shape the future of secure communication in southeast Asia, signalling promising developments ahead.”
Co-founded by Lum Chune Yang and Robert Bedington as a spin-off from the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Quantum Technologies, SpeQtral has previously demonstrated a miniaturized source of entangled photons in space.
Other projects have involved high-altitude balloon experiments, and the launch of both a successful pair source payload and a polarization-entangled source on board a CubeSat.
‘Unparalelled’ data protection
CEO Lum Chune Yang said of the extended Toshiba collaboration: “This enhanced partnership with Toshiba is a significant milestone for SpeQtral, particularly in light of our involvement in the NQSN+ project.
“Our collaboration underscores our unwavering commitment to advancing quantum technology and ensuring the highest levels of security for our customers. With SpeQtral’s satellite QKD capabilities along with Toshiba’s fiber QKD deployments, we eagerly anticipate the opportunities that this partnership will further unveil, and remain committed to pioneering state-of-the-art quantum solutions that safeguard southeast Asia’s digital future.”
Shunsuke Okada, the CEO of Toshiba’s Digital Solutions business, added: “With 20 years of experience in this technology, Toshiba has formed industry collaborations globally to advance early implementations of quantum-secure communications.
“We are thrilled to take our partnership with SpeQtral to the next level, building on the foundation established a few years ago. We are committed to supporting businesses in the quantum-safe network market, beginning with NQSN+, across Singapore and southeast Asia, with our advancing expertise and know-how.”
IMDA says that, once completed, NQSN+ will provide an interoperable network with unparalleled quantum-encrypted data protection for critical government and commercial applications.