(SCMP) Some users of China Telecom, one of the country’s three state-owned telecoms companies, can now make quantum encrypted phone calls using a special SIM card and smartphone app.
The service was launched as a pilot programme in Anhui province, where China Telecom said it is recruiting “friendly experience customers”.
To get the new feature, users must visit a bricks-and-mortar China Telecom shop to swap out the SIM card. It also requires the company’s “quantum secure call” app, which is currently only available for Android, according to a statement from China Telecom last Friday. The company did not disclose pricing for the new feature.
For users of the new China Telecom service, starting a quantum phone call will generate two secret keys using quantum information technology. These are used to verify the caller’s identity and the call’s information, ensuring end-to-end encryption.
China Telecom said the new service will first be available to users from certain sectors that need “absolute security” such as government, military and financial institutions. It will expand to civil use in the future, the company added.