Quantum technologies for safer information flow are being developed in Latvia

Mobile operator SIA “Latvijas mobilais telefons” (LMT) in cooperation with wireless equipment manufacturer “MikroTīkls”, working with the brand “MikroTik”, and the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics of the University of Latvia (LU MII) has performed the first tests, performing data encrypted with quantum technologies Valdis Jalinskis, the head of public relations, said.

He said that during the tests, LU WMD scientists had transmitted information encrypted with quantum technologies in the LMT network, thus taking an important step towards reducing future cyber security risks.

As Jalinski explained, quantum technology is a high-tech class that develops radical innovations rooted in quantum physics: data processing by quantum computers, secure communications facilitated by the quantum Internet and cryptography, and the production of high-sensitivity sensors and measuring devices, or quantum metrology.

According to him, Latvia is currently developing quantum software and algorithms, as well as hardware – nanoelectronics and photonics sensors and quantum devices – as well as the quantum Internet – quantum secure fiber and air communications, optical satellite communications.

LMT President Juris Binde acknowledged that the interest of various industries in the application of quantum computing and more secure communication in the world is very high, especially in the field of finance, medicine and defense.

“An infrastructure that includes quantum computing and the quantum Internet is currently being actively developed as part of a European Union initiative. The development of mobile communications using quantum technologies has a number of benefits, including in areas with the highest potential for developing knowledge- and technology-intensive and exportable products and services. Namely, quantum technologies open up new opportunities for secure digital communications, significantly reducing potential future cybersecurity risks, “said Binde.

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Meanwhile, John Tally, Chairman of the Board of MikroTik, emphasized that new technological opportunities are not just numbers on paper, they are new products, services and opportunities in all areas – business, science, education and medicine. “The more effort and resources we invest in technological development today, the more technologically advanced we will become in the future. This will allow humanity to better prepare for as yet unknown and unpredictable challenges,” said Thallium.

Jalinski also stressed that the use of quantum encryption technology equipment in data transmission will make the flow of information much more secure. Since 2019, LU MII has been using the “Clavis3” equipment of the Swiss company “ID Quantique QKD” for quantum key distribution to test the possibilities.

During the first test performed jointly by LMT and LU MII, data encrypted with quantum technologies were transferred in the LMT network, with quantum keys synchronizing at a rate of about 2000 bits per second. Currently, both quantum technology devices are located at LU MII, but it is planned that soon one of them will be transferred to LMT for the next test period.

In turn, developing research on the use of quantum technologies, it is planned that “MikroTik” will develop cryptographic devices – chips suitable for quantum encryption – within the framework of joint cooperation with LMT and LU MII.

“The benefits of quantum physics can be reaped today without even expecting quantum computers and the quantum Internet based on quantum computers, namely the use of quantum technologies for secure data encryption key exchange and communications in general. An important step is to integrate quantum technology data encryption key exchange with current classically encrypted data exchange on the Internet, “said Ināra Opmane, Director of LU MII.

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She explained that quantum key distribution (QKD) technology transmits a secret key to the other party with individual photons in such a way that the laws of quantum physics guarantee the detection of eavesdropping. “If the QKD channel is listened to, the receiver detects it as a key transmission error and does not trust them. Thus, QKD guarantees that the secret key is only available to both participants and no one else has seen it,” Opmane said.

LMT was registered in January 1992 and its share capital is 817,000 euros. Sonera Holding and Telia Company own 24.5% of the company’s capital, Tet and the Latvian State Radio and Television Center each own 23%, and the State owns Possessor Ltd. . In 2020, the LMT Group had a turnover of 227.506 million euros, which is 0.7% less than a year earlier, but the group’s profit decreased by 6% and amounted to 27.226 million euros.

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