The world’s first integrated space-to-ground quantum communications network is reportedly ready for practical use.

According to information obtained by the South China Morning Post, the integrated communications quantum network developed by professor Pan Jianwei and a team of scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei is found to be secure, reliable, and stable in facilitating communications and transfer of sensitive information between users across large distances.

“Using a trusted relay structure, the fibre network on the ground covers more than 2,000km, provides practical security against the imperfections of realistic devices, and maintains long-term reliability and stability.”

Completed in 2017, the integrated quantum network consisted of 700 optical fibers spanning 2,000 kilometers (KMs) and the Micius satellite which is dubbed as the world’s first quantum communication satellite. The integrated space-to-ground quantum communications network connects 32 nodes slated across four Chinese provinces and three municipalities covering a total of 4,600 KMs.

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The experiment applied quantum key distribution technology (QKD), an innovation that allows the transfer and encryption of data using quantum entanglement or the phenomenon where particles remain connected even though they are set apart by a huge distance.

Over 150 users across various industries including the public sector, electricity, and finance participated in the world’s first large-scale quantum communication experiment.

According to South China Morning Post, any attempt to hack messages transferred through channels based on quantum entanglement would cause changes and raise alarms, which would render the network hack-proof in theory.

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Researchers Say Hack-Proof Quantum Communications Network Ready for Launch

by Garland K. Clancy
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