China Unicom and Hengtong Optoelectronics have developed data encryption and leakage prevention and tamper-resistant network system based on quantum encryption trunks.
On April 9, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recognized the technology for its potential to protect the information security of citizens. The project was among the 18 development projects honored at the 10th WSIS Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.
Zhu Changbo, vice president of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute and dean of China Unicom Smart City Research Institute, received the trophy and certificate from International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary-General Zhao Houlin.
“Information security protection is an ongoing task. This project has the capacity of continuous operation, providing long-term quantum encryption information security services for government affairs, finance, electric power, and big data, etc. in the areas where the trunk line passes,” the WSIS said in the award citation.
China Unicom explained on its website that it has been cooperating with Hengtong Optoelectronics in studying the use of quantum encryption technology to solve information security problems.
The two companies have signed a strategic cooperation agreement on quantum encryption communication research in 2017 and have since launched a number of innovative quantum security service experiments.
According to information the company provided in Chinese, the project covers the main line area from Beijing to Xiong'an and uses the FM phase-encoding quantum key distribution device (QKD) with independent intellectual property rights to construct a data encryption anti-leakage and anti-tamper system based on the quantum-encrypted communication trunk.
The total length of the encrypted communication trunk project is about 700 kilometers, the company said.
Regional information exchange
The partners hope to build a regional information exchange for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Yangtze River Delta region and provide information security services for government and private enterprises, and the public.
WSIS said in the award citation that the project can be replicated and applied to more quantum secure communication trunks.
“For example, it is planned that Beijing-Xiong'an Quantum Communication Trunk Line will be extended to Tianjin and form the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Quantum Communication Ring Network,” WSIS said.
The Nanjing-Shanghai Quantum Communication Trunk Line will also be extended to Shanghai, Anhui, and Zhejiang and form the Yangtze River Delta Quantum Communication Ring Network.
Moreover, WSIS noted that the two ring networks are planned to be connected by a quantum communication trunk line. This can provide an experimental platform for promoting the quantum secure communication technology in more regions.
Tech for social good
The WSIS Prizes, now on its eighth edition, recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private-sector companies for leveraging the power of tech towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The ITU said a total of 1,062 projects were nominated this year, compared to 492 last year, and almost one-third of the projects (29%) originated from Asia-Pacific.
“This decade has seen a period of extraordinary growth and progress for ICTs," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “But with progress come challenges. It is up to all of us to ensure that ICTs and these emerging technologies continue to prove a force for good."
One-fifth (20%) of the projects benefit women and almost another fifth benefit youth, followed by remote and rural communities, people with disabilities, the elderly, unemployed and poor, indigenous and nomadic people, refugees and internally displaced people, and migrants (4%).
One-third of projects were submitted by the private sector (33%), followed by government (27%), civil society (23%), academia (11%) and international organizations (6%).