BT backs quantum leap to new comms, IT tech

News

BT is involved in a new programme aimed at the development of quantum technologies for the IT and communications markets.

The UK's National Quantum Technologies Programme aims to promote quantum tech and the opportunities it offers sectors including the communications, ICT, components, healthcare and financial services industries.

BT has been invited to take part in the development of new commercial products and services as a partner of the programme's Quantum Communications Hub: a set of technology hubs hosted by a consortium of academic partners from the universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Oxford and York.

The operator will play its part through its involvement in Innovation Martlesham’ – a group of technology start-ups, IT vendors and spin-offs from BT’s own research operations based at its Adastral Park facility in Suffolk.

BT drew attention to work it had conducted alongside Toshiba and ADVA Optical Network, in which “quantum techniques” were used to share cryptographic keys used in network security.

Tim Spiller, Director of the Quantum Communications Hub, said: “The recent advances in Quantum Key Distribution demonstrated at Toshiba’s Cambridge Labs clearly show the potential for Quantum technologies to transform many areas of our daily lives. 

“This was a new milestone for the protection of our networks and our data. Achievements like this across all industry sectors can create a thriving new market for quantum technologies and make the UK a global leader in this field.”

Dr Tim Whitley, BT’s MD of Research and Innovation and Director of Adastral Park, added: “Quantum technology is an important new frontier in research that has so much potential to change the way we work, and the UK has a chance to lead the world in developing and exploiting this technology. 

“We’re delighted that BT and other Adastral Park companies have the opportunity to play a significant role in this cutting-edge work over the coming years.”