(Yicai Global) Jan. 23 -- Communications system solutions provider Hengtong Optic-electric Co. [SHA:600487] has been contracted to construct an encrypted quantum communications trunk line network between Nanjing and Suzhou in east China, a company announcement said on Jan. 20. The project will help the company develop in the emerging encrypted quantum communications market.
Once completed, the scheme will be the largest commercial quantum communications network in the world with real business operations, and the first system of its kind in Jiangsu province, the company claims.
The plan involves the company building trunk lines, a quantum communications metropolitan area network (MAN), and quantum key and network control centers in Nanjing and Suzhou's Wujiang District. The main line network is nearly 500 kilometers long, covering Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Changzhou, Wuxi and Suzhou. A petascale network will connect the six cities.
Hengtong issued a second statement yesterday, which said the project has been approved by the Jiangsu provincial government, and on-site surveying, planning, and feasibility studies have been completed. The exact construction commencement date, construction period, total investment and operation model have not yet been set.
In theory, encrypted quantum communications cannot be deciphered using existing technology. It has significant applications in areas valuing information security, including national defense, finance and the military.
Last August, China became the first country to test quantum communications between ground and space with its launch of an experimental quantum satellite, Micius or Mozi. The Beijing-Shanghai quantum communications trunk lines were completed last year.