China launches its first quantum-encrypted smartphone

By Sandra Helsel posted 19 May 2022

(CGTN.News) A Chinese telecom service provider rolled off its first quantum-encrypted smartphone. IQT-News summarizes the announcement below.
Launched by China Telecom, Tianyi No. 1 2022 is a smartphone mounted with a quantum-secured encryption module and purpose-built SIM card that can encrypt and decipher voice calls on the phone using the quantum key distribution, the company said.
The telecom giant and the startup QuantumCTeck set up a joint venture in 2021 to develop quantum-based communication and bring to market.
Chinese scientists, some of whom were part of the founding team of QuantumCTeck, tested the quantum key distribution with the world’s first quantum satellite Micius launched in August 2016.
Unlike traditional cryptography, the technology uses single photons in quantum superposition states by which the key is embedded to guarantee unconditional security between distant parties.
“When a user initiates a quantum-secured chat, a secret key will be generated at random to verify his or her identity,” said Zhang Rutong, an engineer with QuantumCTeck. “After verification, the quantum network will generate a new real-time key to encrypt voice data.”

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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