Deploying an Inter-European Quantum Network

Domenico Ribezzo, Mujtaba Zahidy, Ilaria Vagniluca, Nicola Biagi, Saverio Francesconi, Tommaso Occhipinti, Leif K. Oxenløwe, Martin Lončarić, Ivan Cvitić, Mario Stipčević, Žiga Pušavec, Rainer Kaltenbaek, Anton Ramšak, Francesco Cesa, Giorgio Giorgetti, Francesco Scazza, Angelo Bassi, Paolo De Natale, Francesco Saverio Cataliotti, Massimo InguscioDavide Bacco, Alessandro Zavatta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Around 40 years have passed since the first pioneering works introduced the possibility of using quantum physics to enhance communications safety. Nowadays, quantum key distribution (QKD) exited the physics laboratories to become a mature technology, triggering the attention of States, military forces, banks, and private corporations. This work takes on the challenge of bringing QKD closer to a consumer technology: deployed optical fibers by telecommunication companies of different States have been used to realize a quantum network, the first-ever connecting three different countries. This work also emphasizes the necessity of networks where QKD can come up besides classical communications, whose coexistence currently represents the main limitation of this technology. This network connects Trieste to Rijeka and Ljubljana via a trusted node in Postojna. A key rate of over 3 kbps in the shortest link and a 7-hour-long measurement demonstrate the system's stability and reliability. The network has been used to present the QKD at the G20 Digital Ministers' Meeting in Trieste. The experimental results, together with the interest that one of the most important events of international politics has attracted, showcase the maturity of the QKD technology bundle, placing it in the spotlight for consumer applications in the near term.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200061
JournalAdvanced Quantum Technologies
Volume6
Issue number2
Number of pages8
ISSN2511-9044
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • European quantum communication infrastructure
  • Fibre optic network
  • Quantum communication
  • Quantum communication field trial
  • Quantum internet
  • Quantum key distribution
  • Quantum network

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