Chinese scientists have built the world’s largest quantum communications network capable of delivering quantum switches over a distance of more than 4,600 kilometers. The secure network was put at the service of government agencies.
Scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China have built the world’s longest and largest quantum encryption network. The network, consisting of more than 700 fiber QKD links and two satellite communication stations, is currently used by private banks, power grids and government agencies.
The main goal of the scientists was to show the possibility of using quantum key distribution (QKD) in large-scale projects. They seem to have achieved this too. Because more than 150 organizations have gained access to a secure connection on the network with a data transfer distance of 4,600 kilometers.
Key generation speed increased by 40 times
Scientists say that with satellite key distribution, they can achieve an average key generation rate of about 48 kilobits per second. In other words, there is a huge 40-fold increase in key generation speed.
Quantum networks are based on ‘quantum encryption’ technology, which is theoretically impossible to break. This application of China reveals that quantum communication technology is mature enough for large-scale practical use.