IBM has announced a partnership with Vodafone on quantum-safe cybersecurity to help validate and progress potential quantum use cases in telecommunications. Vodafone will explore quantum computing for a variety of telco use cases, including how to apply IBM Quantum Safe cryptography technology across its diverse network infrastructure and systems.
Unlike today’s computers that rely on bits for calculation, quantum computers harness the exponential power of quantum bits (qubits). This creates the potential to solve extremely complex problems but also requires quantum-safe controls to protect sensitive information, such as customer data that could be at risk from attackers who harvest present-day data for decryption later. The World Economic Forum estimates that over 20 billion digital devices will need to be either upgraded or replaced in the next 10–20 years to use the new forms of quantum-safe encrypted communication.
At MWC Las Vegas, the GSMA announced the formation of the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, with IBM and Vodafone as initial members. The taskforce will bring together operators, experts from IBM and other ecosystem partners to define the impact of post-quantum technology on the telecoms industry and understand how to protect critical infrastructure and customer data. This complements the GSMA’s ongoing security efforts to increase resiliency in future networks.