SpeQtral boots up SE Asia’s first quantum communications lab

SpeQtral, a Singapore-based quantum communications company, has launched Southeast Asia’s first Quantum Networks EXperience Centre (QNEX) in partnership with Toshiba Digital Solutions. 

QNEX is a collaborative technology showcase that will be open to strategic partners including government agencies and private enterprises, such as banks, telcos, and data centres. 

The facility is intended to serve as a platform to explore and prototype commercial Quantum Cryptographic use cases based on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). 

QKD leverages the laws of quantum physics to create “un-hackable” encryption keys, that will enhance the resilience of communications infrastructure against existing and future cyber-attacks, including attacks fronted by Quantum Computers.

Following the partnership inked between SpeQtral and Toshiba last year, the launch of QNEX signals the intent and ambition of both companies to actively promote the adoption of quantum-secure communication in Singapore and Southeast Asia. 

Housed in SpeQtral’s offices, the QNEX is expected to be incorporated as a network node within Singapore’s National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN), a testbed launched as an initiative of the Quantum Engineering Programme for nationwide trials of quantum-safe communication technologies that aims to enhance network security for critical infrastructure and organisations handling sensitive data. 

QNEX partners will be able to tap on state-of-the-art hardware, software, and combined expertise of SpeQtral and Toshiba to understand the operational issues of deploying QKD systems for various commercial use cases.

Lum Chune Yang, CEO of SpeQtral, said that secure communications are foundational to establishing the complex “web of trust” between buyers, sellers, and intermediaries in the modern digital economy. 

“With this web under threat given advances in both traditional and quantum computing technologies, organisations will have to fundamentally change how they secure their most sensitive data,” said Lum. “SpeQtral is on a mission to leverage advances in quantum cryptography and satellite technologies to build the world’s first global quantum-safe communication network.”

He added that QNEX will allow them to tap on the NQSN and its ecosystem partners such as Amazon Web Services, as well as other local industry partners like SPTel, a joint venture company of ST Engineering and SP Group, and DBS Bank’s Innovation Group, to identify use cases and develop applications that could support future commercialisation.

Shunsuke Okada, president and CEO of Toshiba Digital Solutions, said QNEX is an important initiative that aims to raise awareness and understanding among governments and businesses in the region around how quantum cryptographic solutions can safeguard sensitive data and vulnerable infrastructures against present and future threats.