Securing today’s communication networks against future quantum threats

Quantum-safe telecommunications without compromise


Quantum computing represents a huge opportunity for telecoms operators and the sectors they serve.

As quantum computers become more widely available, the public key encryption techniques used to keep sensitive information safe today will be rendered insecure.

The time for telecoms providers to act is now.

With the acceleration in development of quantum computing, there’s an urgent need to make telecoms networks quantum-safe and protected from attacks such as ‘harvest now, decrypt later’ – instances of which are becoming ever more prevalent.

Toshiba QKD: overcoming the obstacles to deliver quantum-safe telecommunications.

You may already be aware that Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology offers the solution. It uses the quantum properties of light to generate secure random keys for encrypting and decrypting data, ensuring QKD-protected transmissions are unintelligible and cannot be decrypted by adversaries.

Deploying QKD into existing networks can present challenges to integration, range and capacity. Widespread deployment has also been hampered by the cost and logistical challenges of converting existing fibre networks to enable QKD deployment.

That’s why we’ve created QKD systems that offer long range data transmission, and multiplexed systems that enable QKD and conventional data channels to co-exist on existing fibre, all while providing long transmission range and exceptional secret bit rates.

We’ve also developed Q-KMS, a flexible and powerful Quantum Key Management System for the storage, transmission and routing of quantum keys between the nodes of a quantum-secured network. Contact us to find out how Toshiba’s quantum technologies can make your network quantum-secure.

Contact us to find out how Toshiba’s quantum technologies can make your network quantum-secure.

Photo of Quantum Technology rack

Why Toshiba Quantum

Two decades of research, and unparalleled expertise

We’ve been at the cutting-edge of quantum cryptography since 1999. We’re responsible for a series of world firsts in QKD development and deployment, and we continue to push the boundaries of quantum communication technologies. Our unique and patented QKD systems provide superior performance and real operational and business benefits – and they are available today.

Support more applications
Higher secret bit rates enable more users and use cases
Achieve competitive advantage
With the agility to enable future use cases as they emerge
Reduce CAPEX
Superior optical performance means less hardware is required
Deploy on existing fibre
Our MU QKD System reduces CAPEX and OPEX and accelerates deployment
Leading in R&D
Terrestrial, satellite, chip-based & twin-field QKD – Toshiba is ready for global, pervasive mass market QKD deployment
A name you can trust
We’ll deliver high-performance quantum-secure solutions today, tomorrow and into the future

Toshiba Quantum Technologies
for Telecoms Providers

Long Distance QKD System LD

  • Ensures quantum-secure networking over distances of 150 km+
  • Optimises CAPEX, with fewer systems required to meet your distance needs
  • Proprietary active stabilisation technology that adapts to the network environment

Multiplexed QKD System MU

  • Developed to deliver QKD in complex metro-scale environments, with the simplest integration
  • Provably secure protection provided by the most advanced QKD protocol
  • Proprietary active stabilisation technology that adapts to the network environment

FleXible QKD System LX

  • Developed to deliver QKD in complex metro-scale environments, with the simplest integration
  • Provably secure protection provided by the most advanced QKD protocol
  • Proprietary active stabilisation technology that adapts to the network environment

Latest insights

The future of quantum-secure networking

The future of quantum-secure networking

Experts discuss what’s next for QKD technology – including how, and why, to implement an international quantum network.

Latest resources

Case study

London Quantum-Secured Metro Network (PDF, 480KB)

This paper covers a commercially-ready QKD metro network built in London, complete with customer access tails and an aggregated central metro node, able to support multiple customers. The solution includes a full Key Management System; encrypted classical Ethernet data on the same fibre and a Data Communications Network (DCN) for full remote monitoring at BT’s Network Operations Centre (NOC).


[EXTERNAL] Paving the way toward 800 Gbps quantum-secured optical channel deployment in mission-critical environments

This article describes experimental research studies conducted toward understanding the implementation aspects of high-capacity quantum-secured optical channels in mission-critical metro-scale operational environments using quantum key distribution (QKD) technology.


Toshiba QKD Systems LX Datasheet (PDF, 3.4 MB)

Latest product details and specifications for FleXible QKD system LX. Discover all the key details - download now.

Toshiba QKD Systems LD & MU Datasheet (PDF, 1 MB)

Latest product details and specifications for Multiplexing MU and Long Distance LD QKD systems. Discover all the key details on our Long Distance and Multiplexing QKD systems - download now.

Future-proof your existing infrastructure against the quantum computing threat while delivering the services and performance your customers demand.

Find out more about our QKD Systems

In detail: Quantum-safe networking for telecoms

What are the applications of quantum computing in telecoms?

Quantum computing looks set to revolutionise almost every industrial sector. Quantum computers can solve complex mathematical problems that cannot be tackled by traditional machines – or, if they were, would take thousands of years to complete. This increase in computing power alone will have ramifications across the globe.

It certainly affords new opportunities for telecommunications. New products such as Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS) could become prevalent, giving researchers and organisations access to quantum computing capabilities via the cloud.

There are many reasons to be excited about quantum technology. But, as we have seen above, quantum computers also threaten the effectiveness of current public key encryption techniques. The telecoms industry can adopt Quantum Key Distribution to create truly quantum-safe networks, ensuring sensitive data remains private even as new security challenges emerge.

Why is data vulnerable in transit?

‘Data in transit’ is one of the three ‘states’ of data, during which it requires specific protections. While the others, ‘at rest’ and ‘in use’, typically describe data housed in one location, data in transit is vulnerable to certain high-security threats like eavesdropping attacks and data theft while it’s in motion between points.

In order to secure data in transit against such attacks, networks need to be resilient against decryption attempts. That’s one reason why QKD technology is so successful at ensuring data security, as the quantum-secure data signals will alter when eavesdroppers are detected, meaning that the transmissions cannot be decrypted, and the network is secure.

How does QKD address ‘harvest now and decrypt later’ attacks?

‘Harvest now, decrypt later’ attacks are on the rise. Criminals are working to collect data which is currently encrypted using traditional cryptographic methods, with a view to accessing the sensitive information once quantum computers become commercially available.

These quantum computers already exist. Commercial, scalable quantum computing will soon be a reality. That’s why it’s vital for telecoms providers to transition to QKD as soon as possible. Only data which is encrypted using quantum-secure methods will be able to withstand decryption from a quantum computer, and any data transmitted via conventional methods is currently at risk of being harvested, and stored, for future decryption.

Will QKD work in existing or older fibre networks?

Optical fibres tend to degrade over time, which can reduce the strength of data signals, including the photons that make up the quantum signal. However, thanks to their high optical loss budgets, Toshiba QKD systems offer the headroom to accommodate potential fibre performance degradation while still conveying the quantum signal, thereby successfully transmitting quantum-secure keys and maintaining the quantum safety of the fibre link.

Why has it been challenging for telecoms providers to implement QKD to date?

Integrating QKD into existing networks has traditionally required providers to use dedicated dark fibre cables alongside their original infrastructure to carry the QKD signal. This results in financial, logistical and operational expenses and takes significant time to deploy, which is why QKD multiplexing techniques that enable true QKD and data co-existence on the existing deployed fibre provides real and significant benefits to operators.

What are the challenges associated with multiplexed QKD?

QKD signals are typically 100 million times weaker than those used to carry other forms of network data. It’s therefore challenging to preserve the quantum signal in the presence of multiple conventional data channels. In particular, scattering effects that result from the transmission of multiple, high power conventional data channels can potentially interfere with the quantum signals, making quantum key distribution impossible.

Multiplexing data with QKD information on the same fibre typically involves telecoms providers making trade-offs on a number of factors: the number of data channels multiplexed, the total optical launch power into the fibre, the QKD secret bit rate and the overall fibre transmission distance.

How does Toshiba’s technology overcome the challenges associated with QKD multiplexing?

Our multiplexed (MU) QKD system places the quantum data channel in the O-Band (1310 nm), spectrally distant from the data channels in the C-band (1550 nm). This separation reduces scattering effects and potential interference.

As a result, it becomes possible to send QKD signals on fibres carrying multiple, conventional data signals, and to do so without impacting the performance of the existing optical network. Using this technique, existing deployed networks can be easily and incrementally upgraded to support QKD.

What happens if I need to grow my network after introducing multiplexing?

Toshiba’s multiplexed QKD systems are highly resilient, providing superior multiplexing performance across multiple data channels. With high optical launch power, it is possible to add additional channels without any impact on the overall performance of data or quantum channels.

This means that our multiplexed systems can be deployed on today’s fibre networks, running today’s data services, with the freedom to scale as needed.

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