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November 21, 2016

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Ultra-secure link goes on line

AFTER three years of construction, a 712-kilometer quantum communication line has opened in east China, making it the world’s longest secure quantum telecommunications network.

The new quantum communication line links Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, to Shanghai. It is part of a 2,000km quantum communication line connecting Beijing and Shanghai, according to Chen Yu’ao, professor at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei and chief engineer of the Beijing-Shanghai quantum communication line. The 712km line has 11 stations.

Quantum communication lines boast ultra-high security. It is impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through them.

The Beijing-Shanghai quantum communication line is expected to be completed at the end of this year. In August, China launched the world’s first quantum satellite. It was nicknamed “Micius” after a fifth century BC Chinese philosopher and scientist. That line will be connected to the satellite through a station in Beijing, enabling the space-to-Earth quantum communication network.


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