Colt teams with ADVA on trial of quantum-secured transport

security
The Colt trial with ADVA announced today relied on quantum key distribution. (Getty Images)

Colt Technology Services has completed a field trial of quantum-secured transport on its Frankfurt, Germany, metro network using ADVA Optical Networking’s FSP 3000 platform with ConnectGuard Layer 1 encryption technology. 

The news comes after Colt earlier this month said it had started proof-of-concept trials over new network edge nodes in several metro areas around the world, including Frankfurt. At that time, the carrier mentioned ADVA as one of the vendors it was working with on those projects.

The Colt trial with ADVA announced today relied on quantum key distribution (QKD) “to super-encrypt live data traffic, demonstrating how mission-critical services can be protected even against large-scale attacks.”

“With quantum computers on the horizon, it’s crucial to stay one step ahead of the hackers,” said Oktay Tekin, director, sales engineers, DACH, Colt Technology Services, in the ADVA statement. “This trial is a major step toward the next generation of cryptographic infrastructure and takes us closer to safeguarding our customers’ information from tomorrow’s threats.”

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ADVA partner ID Quantique also participated in the field demonstration, providing its QKD technology. In the trial, the ADVA FSP 3000 received quantum keys generated by ID Quantique’s QKD offering. QKD technology provides quantum random bit strings that can be used as an additional entropy source for the ADVA encryption solution, ADVA said. 

Other network operators have used ADVA’a ConnectGuard technology for optical layer encryption over the last several years as end-to-end multi-layer network security has become a more pressing matter for carriers. The most recent service provider to adopt the technology prior to this trial announcement was Singapore’s StarHub late last year.