Numana launches quantum-safe communications testbed in Canada
Numana, a non-profit organization in Quebec, has launched what it described as a multi-purpose testbed for quantum-safe communications, with the first node in that testbed now live in the city of Sherbrooke.
Additional nodes in Montreal and Quebec City will be brought online early next year, Numana said, adding that each city’s node will offer systems with different features, and new technologies will be added as they become available, keeping the testbed up to date. Numana previously detailed its testbed plans in an IQT article contributed by the company.
“The project has two objectives,” Numana said in a statement. “The first being to provide the necessary infrastructure to test emerging quantum-communications technologies. Secondly, this testbed could become one of the cornerstones of a future nationwide quantum communication network, as outlined in Canada’s National Quantum Strategy.”
Numana CEO Francois Borrelli stated, “Unlike projects built by private companies for their own exclusive use, this project will allow us to welcome innovators from all over the world who are looking for a place to test their quantum-safe technologies. This is but one of the ways we are working to develop the quantum industry in Quebec. This is a remarkable achievement for this market, and we want to thank the Government of Quebec as well as the Government of Canada for together providing over $10 million in funding for this project, and for mandating Numana to manage the deployment and operation of these systems.”
The testbed is available to researchers, companies, and others to allow them to experiment with the use of quantum-safe communications by testing new technologies without disrupting existing infrastructure. Canadian telecom companies Bell Canada and Telus are providing access to their fiber optic networks, Numana said, adding that these network operators can also develop, design, and test their own quantum capabilities while collaborating with researchers and startups. When used in conjunction with quantum communications technologies such as QKD systems, this infrastructure has the potential to unlock new applications in a range of industries including health care, finance, transportation, and defense, among others.
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.