SpeQtral, a Singapore-based Quantum Communications company, and Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation announced the opening of the first Quantum Networks EXperience Centre (QNEX) in Southeast Asia, which would offer a platform for business partners, including government organizations and private companies, to become familiar with quantum cryptographic technologies.
On the basis of quantum key distribution (“QKD”), QNEX will be used as a platform to investigate and prototype commercial quantum cryptographic use cases. The ‘un-hackable’ encryption keys produced by QKD, which uses the principles of quantum physics, will increase the resistance of communications infrastructure against current and potential cyberattacks, including those launched by quantum computers.
The launch of QNEX, following the cooperation between Toshiba and SpeQtral signed last year, indicates both firms’ desire to actively encourage the deployment of quantum-secure communication in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
The National Quantum-Safe Network (“NQSN”), based in Singapore and housed in SpeQtral’s offices, is expected to include the QNEX as a network node. The NQSN is a testbed for national trials of quantum-safe communication technologies that aims to improve network security for critical infrastructure and organizations handling sensitive data.
Moreover, in order to comprehend the operational challenges of deploying QKD systems for various business use cases, QNEX partners will be able to draw on cutting-edge hardware, software, and combined knowledge of SpeQtral and Toshiba.
The launch event was attended by Mr. Heng Swee Keat, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies; His Excellency Mr. Hiroshi Ishikawa, the Japanese Ambassador to Singapore; and Mr. Quek Gim Pew, Co-chair of the National Quantum Steering Committee, and Deputy Chairman, Office for Space Technologies & Industry (“OSTIn”).
In Mr. Quek Gim Pew’s opening address, developing trust in their digital infrastructure, according to him, is essential for the current digital economy. In order to protect national communication systems, financial networks, and physical infrastructure against upcoming breakthroughs in quantum and conventional computer technologies, quantum cryptographic technologies are becoming more and more crucial. Singapore’s national R&D plans include quantum physics as a crucial research pillar; therefore, he is pleased that SpeQtral is leading the drive to turn this research into profitable business.
He further added that he is also thrilled to see SpeQtral collaborating with national and international partners to create quantum solutions and aiding businesses in securing their communications infrastructure for the future. The NQSN, which is being hosted by the National University of Singapore, includes QNEX as a crucial component on a national scale. He is eager to collaborate with the NQSN team and SpeQtral to support the adoption of this technology in Singapore.
Moreover, according to Deputy Prime Minister Heng, who’s also the Chairman of the National Research Foundation, Singapore has made investments and developed capabilities in quantum technology over the past 20 years. The capacity to protect and exchange data securely across the globe will be even more important in the future years as the usage of digital technology spreads.
Consequently, they will keep funding the National Quantum-Safe Network, a government-sponsored research initiative with the goal of advancing quantum-safe communications and developing use cases. They are establishing both domestic and foreign alliances at the same time. The latest partnership between Toshiba and SpeQtral combines the knowledge of both companies to improve the robustness of local and international communications networks.
For His Excellency Hiroshi Ishikawa, Japan has launched a new national quantum technology strategy to foster economic growth and social change, including resolving societal problems. Particularly, Singapore is one of the world’s innovation hubs.
They take pride in the fact that SpeQtral and Toshiba will integrate technologies from Singapore and Japan to create a quantum-secured communication network to address security risks. The Japanese government will keep giving Singapore and Japan the help they need to grow their partnership.
Lum Chune Yang, CEO of SpeQtral
“Secure communications are foundational to establishing the complex “web of trust” between buyers, sellers, and intermediaries in the modern digital economy. With this web under threat given advances in both traditional and quantum computing technologies, organizations will have to fundamentally change how they secure their most sensitive data. SpeQtral is on a mission to leverage advances in quantum cryptography and satellite technologies to build the world’s first global quantum-safe communication network. We can only do this through partnerships. QNEX represents both Toshiba and SpeQtral’s commitment to support the awareness and adoption of the technology in Singapore and the broader Southeast Asian region.”
Shunsuke Okada, President & CEO of Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation.
“QNEX is an important initiative that aims to raise awareness and understanding among governments and businesses in the region around how quantum cryptographic solutions can safeguard sensitive data and vulnerable infrastructures against present and future threats. We are happy to be part of this important initiative and look forward to working alongside SpeQtral to grow the QNEX partnership network in Singapore and the Southeast Asia region.”