SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) announced today that the company will invest KRW 70 billion (US$ 65 million) in ID Quantique (IDQ), the world’s No.1 quantum-safe cryptography solutions provider based in Switzerland.
In the hyper-connected 5G era where some *43 billion things worldwide* get connected through wireless networks, the importance of security on mobile communications will rise exponentially. Against this backdrop, quantum cryptography has emerged as an essential solution. The technology encrypts transmitted data using special quantum keys, which are impossible to intercept or steal.
As the first South Korean conglomerate to establish a quantum technology laboratory in 2011, SK Telecom has continuously invested in the development of quantum cryptography for wireless communications networks. In 2017, the company developed the world’s smallest (5x5mm) *Quantum Random Number Generator.
SK Telecom has maintained a close partnership with IDQ since 2016. The company invested KRW 2.5 billion (US$ 2 million) and co-developed the Quantum Random Number Generator chip with the Swiss company.
Established in 2001, IDQ launched the world’s first Quantum Random Number Generator in 2002 and the world’s first commercial Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems in 2006. IDQ’s co-founders Prof. Nicolas Gisin and Prof. Hugo Zbinden of Geneva University are proof of the company’s continuing strength in research and innovation.
Thanks to IDQ’s extensive global partnerships that range from telecommunication service providers and transmission equipment companies to space agencies in North America, Europe and the Middle East- the latest investment is expected to further reinforce SK Telecom’s position in the field of quantum-safe communications.
“In the 5G era where everything in the real world is connected wirelessly, the issue of safety will continue to rise,” said Park Jung-ho, CEO and President of SK Telecom. “We will continue our utmost efforts to provide our customers with the world’s safest 5G technology.”
“Quantum communications technologies will play a significant role in securing our data and communications, both in backbone networks and at the edge, in an era where the quantum computer will render vulnerable much of today’s cryptography,” added Dr Grégoire Ribordy, CEO and co-Founder of IDQ. “Partnering with SK Telecom will allow us to accelerate development of leading-edge solutions to meet these market needs.”
ID Quantique and SK Telecom will, in parallel, collaborate in the field of Quantum Sensing in order to keep growing the company’s core quantum photonics technologies and provide the most innovative solutions for high potential industrial markets.
About SK Telecom
Established in 1984, SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea by both revenue and number of subscribers. As of December 2017, the company holds around 50 percent of the market, with 30.2 million mobile subscribers including 22.87 million LTE subscribers. It has reached KRW 17.520 trillion in revenue in 2017. SK Telecom has led the advancement of mobile technologies ranging from 2G to 4G, and is currently setting important milestones in its journey to 5G. The company is not only leading innovation in the field of mobile network, but also providing IoT, media, home and platform services. SK Telecom is determined to play a significant role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by achieving innovations and promoting shared growth with other players in the industry.
About ID Quantique
Founded in 2001 as a spin-off of the Group of Applied Physics of the University of Geneva, ID Quantique is the world leader in quantum-safe crypto solutions, designed to protect data for the future. The company provides quantum-safe network encryption, secure quantum key generation and Quantum Key Distribution solutions and services to the financial industry, enterprises and government organizations globally. IDQ’s quantum random number generator has been validated according to global standards and independent agencies, and is the reference in highly regulated and mission critical industries – such as security, encryption, critical infrastructure and IoT- where trust is paramount.
Additionally, IDQ is a leading provider of optical instrumentation products, most notably photon counters and related electronics. The company’s innovative photonic solutions are used in both commercial and research applications.
IDQ’s products are used by government, enterprise and academic customers in more than 60 countries and on every continent. IDQ is proud of its independence and neutrality, and believes in establishing long-term and trusted relationships with its customers and partners. For more information, please visit http://www.idquantique.com/.