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SK Telecom Aims to Standardize Quantum-Safe Communication

Source: SK Telecom

Seoul, South Korea - SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) is participating in developing international standards to ensure quantum-safe communications.

Why it matters

Quantum computing challenges the cryptographic methods that currently secure digital communications.

Quantum computers are theoretically capable of breaking today's encryption algorithms.

The push for quantum-secure communications technologies is part of a broader effort to address these security vulnerabilities in advance.

Advances in quantum computing have implications for the security of existing communications networks.

The Key Points

  • International standards: SK Telecom announced its intention to focus on quantum-secure communications standards at the ITU-T SG17 meeting in Korea. The goal is to merge quantum key distribution (QKD) with post-quantum cryptography (PQC).
  • Quantum-safe technologies: QKD and PQC are considered resistant to attacks by future quantum computers. QKD involves hardware solutions for key exchange, while PQC can be integrated through software upgrades.
  • Partnerships: SK Telecom is collaborating with SK Broadband and ID Quantique in setting these standards and in the commercial development of quantum cryptography technologies.
  • Global reach: SK Telecom has implemented PQC in virtual private networks in the US, Japan, and Singapore. It has deployed QKD technology in its 5G and LTE networks in South Korea.

The Big Picture and What They Say

Based on its R&D efforts in quantum cryptography communication technology, the company successfully applied QKD to the Seoul-Daejeon section - with the highest traffic concentration in Korea - of its 5G and LTE networks in 2019.

The company has also won quantum cryptography communication projects in the global market, including the United States, Europe, and Singapore.

"We are pleased to lead the establishment of standards for next-generation security technologies that take advantage of quantum key distribution and post-quantum cryptography technologies,We will continue to make efforts to contribute to the growth of the global quantum cryptography market through active research and business."

Ha Min-yong, chief development officer of SK Telecom.