Quantum Networking: A Ten-year Forecast and Opportunity Analysis

Report: IQT-IQN-0920
Published September 16, 2020

The primary goal of this report is to present detailed ten-year forecasts for quantum networking opportunities and deployments over the coming decade. As far as is possible we present these numbers in value and volume terms.

Today there increasing talk about the Quantum Internet.  This network will have the same geographical breadth of coverage as today’s Internet but where the Internet carries bits, the Quantum Internet will carry qubits, represented by quantum states. The Quantum Internet will provide a powerful platform for communications among quantum computers and other quantum devices.  It will also further enable a quantum version of the Internet-of-Things.  Finally, quantum networks can be the most secure networks ever built – completely invulnerable if constructed properly.

Already there are sophisticated roadmaps showing how the Quantum Internet will come to be.  At the present time, however, quantum networking in the real world consists of three research programs and commercialization efforts:  Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) adds unbreakable coding of key distribution to public key encryption.  Cloud/network access to quantum computers is core to the business strategies of leading quantum computer companies.  Quantum sensor networks promise enhanced navigation and positioning; more sensitive medical imaging modalities, etc.  This report provides power ten-year forecasts of all three of these sectors.

In this report, we provide a detailed quantitative analysis of where the emerging opportunities can be found today and how they will emerge in the future:

With regard to the scope of the report, the focus is, of course, on quantum networking opportunities of all kinds. We look especially, however, on three areas: quantum key distribution (QKD,) quantum computer networking/quantum clouds, and quantum sensor networks. We also include in our forecasts breakouts by all the end-user segments of this market including military and intelligence, law enforcement, banking and financial services, and general business applications, as well as niche applications. There are also breakouts by hardware, software and services as appropriate.

In addition, there is also some discussion of the latest research into quantum networking, including the critical work on quantum repeaters. Quantum repeaters allow entanglement between quantum devices over long distances. Most experts predict repeaters will start to prototype in real-world applications in about five years, but this is far from certain.

The methodology employed to construct this report involves both primary and secondary research. The primary research consisted of interviews conducted both on the phone but also in person (especially at Inside Quantum Technology’s own conferences) and to some extent via e-mail. The secondary research consists of reviews of both technical and business articles related to all quantum networking areas. The forecasting methodology is explained in more detail later in this report. However, we note here that we tie all of our forecasts back to the underlying end-user markets for quantum networks and this is an important part of how we derive our numbers.

Much of this report has been extracted from other reports compiled by Inside Quantum Technology and some of the numbers included here come from these reports. This report was also partially updated in September 2020 to reflect current realities.

However, a full update of the report will not be carried out until January 2021. The forecasts in this report have not been updated and reflect Inside Quantum Technology’s perspective as of late 2019.

This report from INSIDE QUANTUM TECHNOLOGY will be essential reading for equipment companies, service providers, telephone companies, data center mangers, cybersecurity firms, IT companies and investors of various kinds.

Table of Contents Quantum Networks Sept. 2020 update
Executive Summary
E.1 Goals, Scope and Methodology of this Report
E.1.1 A Definition of Quantum Networking
E.2 Quantum Networks Today: QKD, Quantum Clouds and Quantum Networked
E.2.1 Towards the Quantum Internet: Possible Business Opportunities
E.2.2 Quantum Key Distribution
E.2.3 Quantum Computer Networks/Quantum Clouds
E.2.4 Quantum Sensor Networks
E.3 Summary of Quantum Networking Market by Type of Network
E.4 The Need for Quantum Repeaters to Realize Quantum Networking’s Potential
E.5 Plan of this Report
Chapter One: Ten-year Forecast of Quantum Key Distribution
1.1 Opportunities and Drivers for Quantum Key Distribution Networks
1.1.1 QKD vs. PQC
1.1.2 Evolution of QKD
1.1.3 Technology Assessment
1.2 Ten-year Forecasts of QKD Markets
1.2.1 QKD Equipment and Services
1.2.2 A Note on “Mobile QKD”
1.3 Key Takeaways from this Chapter
Chapter Two: Ten-Year Forecast of Quantum Computing Clouds
2.1 Quantum Computing: State of the Art
2.2 Current State of Quantum Clouds and Networks
2.3 Commercialization of Cloud Access to Quantum Computers
2.4 Ten-Year Forecast for Cloud Access to Quantum Computers
2.4.1 Penetration of Clouds in the Quantum Computing Space
2.4.2 Revenue from Network Equipment for Quantum Computer Networks by End-User
2.4.3 Revenue from Network Equipment Software by End-User Industry
2.5 Key Takeaways from this Chapter
Chapter Three: Ten-Year Forecast of Quantum Sensor Networks
3.1 The Emergence of Networked Sensors
3.1.1 The Demand for Quantum Sensors Seems to be Real
3.2 The Future of Networked Sensors
3.3 Forecasts for Networked Quantum Sensors
3.4 Five Companies that will Shape the Future of the Quantum Sensor Business: Some
Chapter Four: Towards the Quantum Internet
4.1 A Roadmap for the Quantum Internet
4.1.1 The Quantum Internet in Europe
4.1.2 The Quantum Internet in China
4.1.3 The Quantum Internet in the U.S.
4.2 Evolution of Repeater Technology: Ten-year Forecast
4.3 Evolution of the Quantum Network
About the Analyst
Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
List of Exhibits
Exhibit E-1: QKD Markets: 2019 to 2028 ($ Millions)
Exhibit E-2: Market for Quantum Computer/Cloud Networking Systems by End User
Exhibit E-3: Market for Quantum Sensor Systems by End User ($ Millions)
Exhibit E-4: Market for Quantum Sensor Networking Systems by End User ($ Millions)
Exhibit 1-1: PQC versus QKD
Exhibit 1-2: Timetable for the Evolution of QKD
Exhibit 1-3: Market for QKD Systems by End User
Exhibit 1-4: Firms to Watch in the QKD Space
Exhibit 2-1: Firms to Watch in the Quantum Cloud Computing Space
Exhibit 2-2: Percentage of Quantum Computers that will use Networked Quantum
Exhibit 2-3: Revenue for Quantum Networked Computer Services (Hardware Used) ($
Exhibit 2-4: Revenue for Quantum Networked Computer Services (Software Used) ($
Exhibit 3-1: Three Generations of Quantum Sensors
Exhibit 3-2: Possible Quantum Sensor Networking Total Market
Exhibit 3-3: Market for Quantum Sensor Networks Sensor Cost by Node ($)
Exhibit 3-4: Market for Quantum Sensor Node Revenue by Sensor Type ($ Millions)
Exhibit 3-5: Five Companies to Watch the Quantum Sensor Market: Some
Exhibit 4-1: Evolution of the Repeater Technology for Quantum Networks

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