KT Sat Working to Commercialize QKD in Five Years
(SpaceNews) Selling satellite capacity to television broadcasters and broadband network operators is no longer sufficient to support growth, according to several Asia-Pacific satellite operators.
The increased adoption of high-throughput satellites with large volumes of broadband-optimized capacity mean satellite operators need to add more services to make their products attractive to buyers. Such satellites are driving a need for a range of additional services from building data centers to offering quantum encryption.
Won-sic Hahn, CEO of South Korean operator KT Sat, said his company is studying quantum encryption, since the photons used as “quantum keys” can travel farther through the vacuum of space than they can through fiber, giving satellite operators a potential advantage.
“Quantum key distribution is kind of the ultimate security,” Hahn said. Customers who want hyper-secure networks could be wooed from terrestrial infrastructure to satellites if operators can offer quantum key distribution from space, he said.
Hahn said KT Sat is working with its parent company KT Corp. on commercializing quantum key distribution within five years.