BT joined forces with a group of UK-based quantum technology start-ups, research bodies and educational institutions, seeking to make a leap in developing secure communications for 5G and connected cars.
In a statement, the group noted the move was part of a “world-first” trial of end-to-end quantum-secured communications, financed with £7.7 million from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding agency for 36 months.
BT is seeking to build secure networks using quantum key distribution (QKD), deemed an “essentially un-hackable, cutting edge” technique for sharing encryption keys between locations.
The operator noted the trial will also deliver an “ultra-secure link” between 5G towers and mobile devices, and also connected cars.
BT believes the move will also open the door for developing a broad range of quantum-secured use cases where “ultra-security of data transfer” is required.
Partners in the programme include University of Cambridge spin-out Nu Quantum; IoT cybersecurity start-ups Angoka and ArQit; and quantum computing company Duality Quantum Photonics.