Quantum cryptography technology to ensure security of fifth-generation (5G) network operation

South Korea Telecom will use quantum cryptography technology to ensure security of fifth-generation (5G) network operation.

Quantum cryptography communications is technology creating quantum keys that can be decrypted only by senders and receivers. The technology is cited as the safest cryptography for network communications as it prevents interception or theft of data fundamentally, the telecom firm said.

The company has focused its efforts on communication security as a vast amount of data will be transmitted through self-driving cars and financial and remote medical services as well as smart factories that require tight security in the 5G era.

SK Telecom has begun to apply “quantum random number generator” (QRNG) technology of Geneva-based quantum cryptography company ID Quantique to the subscriber authentication server of 5G networks.

SK Telecom acquired ID Quantique in February last year.

QRNG is capable of blocking any cyber attacks, the mobile carrier said, noting that the technology will ensure the personal information security of its subscribers.

The firm plans to expand the use of QRNG in the existing long-term evolution (LTE) networks next month.

The telecom company will strengthen security further by applying ID Quantique’s quantum key distribution technology to its 5G and LTE networks between Seoul and Daejeon next month.

“We have preemptively introduced quantum cryptography communications technology to offer distinguished communications services to SK Telecom subscribers,” said Kang Jong-lyeol, head of the ICT infrastructure center at SK Telecom. “We will offer the safest 5G communications network in the world.”

The firm said it has already led the global ecosystem for quantum cryptography communications.

In February, the company’s two new technologies related to quantum cryptography communications were selected as projects for international standardization during a meeting of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) in Geneva.

ITU-T is one of the three sectors of the International Telecommunication Union.

Following the additional adoption, SK Telecom is now in charge of four ITU-T international standardization projects in the field of quantum cryptography.

“Security has become more important for 5G networks,” said Park Jin-hyo who heads the ICT center at SK Telecom. “We will lead the nation’s 5G era through the development of quantum cryptography communications technology and extension of its application.”

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