UK backs Arqit in scheme to make 5G quantum-secure
The UK government has picked Arqit Quantum to join a project to built ultra-high security in 5G communications.
Arqit will help integrate what it calls “a novel quantum encryption service” for a project in partnership with the government, which is intended to enable security by default.
David Williams, founder, chairman and CEO of the UK-based start-up, which now has a market cap of US$1.96 billion, said: “This project will benefit from Arqit’s globally unique, transformational quantum safe encryption, which will be a major step in securing the wider network and its devices.”
Arqit last year launched its quantum-based telecoms encryption service. Arqit called this service QuantumCloud, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for telecoms, including consumer, industrial and defence internet of things (IoT).
In an interview with Capacity he said there was “an existential threat to the hyperconnected world”, because “the legacy encryption that we all use, designed in the 1980s, has done a great job but is now failing us”. He said: “The breaches caused are seen around us daily.”
This latest deal is with the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which has been championing open radio access networks (open RAN) as a way of ending operators’ lock-in to a small number of vendors.
The UK wants 35% all cellular traffic in the country carried over open RAN architectures by 2030. It has started the Future RAN Competition (FRANC), in which Arqit is a partner, to stimulate development and, says Arqit, to “improve flexibility, affordability, and interoperability”.
The project will see Arqit working alongside other partners to secure a new wideband solution for 5G cellular open RAN platforms, using its QuantumCloud platform. “This will enable security by design, making the security of 5G unbreakable even by a quantum computer,” said Arqit.