The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has launched the National Quantum-Safe Network Plus (NQSN+) infrastructure to facilitate trials of commercial technologies and evaluation of security systems.
As part of the Ministry for Communications and Information's recently launched Digital Connectivity Blueprint (DCB), NQSN is among the top new frontier technologies that would provide better opportunities and connectivity for enterprises.
The initiative will advance the vision for a quantum-safe country within the next ten years, IMDA said.
Built on the research efforts from the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), hosted by the National University of Singapore, the National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) was launched in 2022 to conduct nationwide trials of such communications technologies to enhance network security.
Partnering with universities, companies and government agencies under Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP), NQSN has demonstrated the technical feasibility of deploying quantum-safe technologies, such as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), to protect against quantum computing risks.
According to the QEP, "Quantum-safe communication technologies are designed to counter the threat of quantum computing with specialised hardware and new cryptographic algorithms."
"They could secure communication systems for governments, critical infrastructure such as energy grids, and companies handling sensitive data in areas such as healthcare and finance," it said.
Currently, the NQSN+ will support network operators to deploy quantum-safe networks starting with at least two operators.
The agency has received proposals from Singtel, and from a joint partnership between SPTel and SpeQtral, and is evaluating these proposals.
Singtel said in a Linkedin post that it has partnered with Swiss firm ID Quantique (IDQ) to develop new technology and solutions in the quantum-safe network space.
"We’ll be developing use cases to drive adoption among organisations, as well as working towards deploying advanced forms of encryption to safeguard data networks from malicious adversaries," Singtel added.
A release from IMDA said that Singapore will co-lead the first standardisation of the QKD protocol framework at the ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Sector (ITU-T), together with Japan.
It has also signed an MoU with the Republic of Korea’s National Information Society Agency (NIA) to collaborate and "facilitate the exchange of learnings and experiences between the network operators in their implementation of quantum-safe networks."