Singapore to build nationwide quantum-safe network

Singapore picks two local companies that will collaborate with Toshiba to build Southeast Asia’s first quantum-safe network to future-proof its systems.

The city-state has appointed Singapore-based network provider SPTel and quantum firm SpeQtral to build the National Quantum-Safe Network Plus (NQSN+) network.

The NQSN+ aims to secure its systems against the potential threats posed by quantum computing by utilizing quantum encryption.

When completed, the quantum-safe network will provide “unparalleled” data protection for the government and commercial users, SPTel and SpeQtral said in a statement.

According to SPTel CEO Titus Yong, the NQSN+ will “set new benchmarks in data protection and fortify the nation’s critical infrastructure.”

SpeQtral co-founder Lum Chune Yang said the project would “contribute to Singapore’s standing as a frontrunner in quantum-safe communications.”

The project is spearheaded by Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), which operates under the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information.

Both government agencies and businesses would be allowed to tap on and benefit from Singapore’s quantum-safe technologies, IMDA’s Ong Chen Hui said.

SPTel and SpeQtral said they would collaborate with ST Engineering, a Singaporean tech company, on quantum-ready encryptors, and Japan’s Toshiba for the network’s quantum key distribution (QKD) technology.

ST Engineering is one of Asia’s largest defense and engineering groups. It is one of the two companies in a joint venture behind SPTel, with state-owned SP Group being the other.

Toshiba was also involved in the world’s first quantum-secure network trial in London in 2022, while there are both private and government initiatives in the US and Europe to develop large-scale quantum networks.

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