Vodafone Group collaborates with IBM on quantum-safe cybersecurity and also joins the IBM Quantum Network, which will give the company cloud access to IBM’s advanced quantum computing systems, as well as IBM’s industry-leading quantum expertise.
Vodafone will explore quantum computing for a variety of telco use cases. The company will also advance its employees’ skills in quantum technology through iterative prototyping led by IBM and actively recruit quantum computing experts to build a dedicated capability within its ranks.
Vodafone will work with IBM to help validate and progress potential quantum use cases in telecommunications.
Future quantum computers will pose a security threat to today’s standard security, such as public key encryption. Quantum-safe cryptography protocols not only exist today and offer the ability to help protect data and systems from these future quantum computers’ potential decryption capabilities, but the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently announced that four algorithms — three of which IBM helped develop have been chosen to be part of a protocol for standardization by 2024. Vodafone’s exploration of these protocols marks an IBM Quantum Safe first in understanding and preparing for this risk in telecommunications.
“Partnering with IBM provides us with access to quantum technology which has the potential to provide incredible network optimization. It’s the sort of innovation that existing computers will never achieve alone, allowing us to save energy, reduce costs and give customer great connectivity in more places,” said Luke Ibbetson, head of group R&D at Vodafone Group. “Investing in quantum-safe cryptography, now, also gives us the peace of mind that our infrastructure and customer data will also always be secure as we explore the benefits of quantum computing.”
“Vodafone, as a leading mover in telco, is setting the example for their industry by exploring quantum computing applications for their business operations, as well as applying quantum-safe cryptography protocols to protect their long-term data and systems,” said Scott Crowder, Vice President, IBM Quantum Adoption and Business Development. “We’re excited to partner with Vodafone to help them simultaneously adopt quantum technology, and move to quantum-safe technology as they serve an entire ecosystem of operators, vendors, regulators, and open-source community.”