German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom (DT) and South Korea’s SK Telecom are exchanging funds to help bolster each other’s 5G deployment plans. Those plans are focused on edge computing and quantum cryptography communication technology.
The agreement calls for SK Telecom to invest an unspecified amount into DT’s MobiledgeX subsidiary. DT, in turn, will invest the same unknown amount into Swiss-based ID Quantique, which is an SK Telecom strategic partner.
DT formed MobiledgeX earlier this year to provide a platform for developers to work on low-latency applications. It’s run as an independent company to attract other operators to participate, and it’s located in Menlo Park, California.
MobiledgeX software was recently used in the creation of the Edge Application Developer Project. That project is housed within the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and includes support from Intel and DT.
The Edge Application Developer Project is developing vendor-neutral APIs and software tools focused on mobile functions running on edge infrastructure. This includes developing device-, operating system-, and language-agnostic platforms for automating and autoscaling out from the application front end to the edge location nearest to the end user. This will work in concert with an application’s already established back end operating in a central cloud environment.
ID Quantique was spun out of the University of Geneva and provides security and communication platforms based on quantum physics. Quantum cryptography communication transmits each bit of information as a single photon of light, which encrypts that information against eavesdropping or decryption. This is expected to be a key component of encrypting communications in support of IoT.
DT and SK Telecom are looking to use quantum cryptography technologies in their respective trial networks.
SK Telecom was initially part of a $4 million investment into ID Quantique in 2016 and pumped $65 million more into the company earlier this year. ID Quantique recently opened offices in Washington, D.C., and Seoul, South Korea.
SK Telecom last year embedded a small quantum random number generator (QRNG) chip into its IoT devices. QRNG chips generate random numbers without any pattern, which is intended to increase the level of security.
Toshiba and the Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization at Tohoku University recently used quantum technology to hit one-month-average key distribution speeds exceeding 10 Mb/s over installed optical fiber lines. They also used the technology to monitor the performance of installed optical fiber lines in different environments.