So far so good, but other industry experts list many more obstacles to a QKD future. Michela Menting, digital security research director at ABI Research, told TelecomTV there are a few major deployment challenges for quantum-secured networking, particularly range (as the current distance is approximately 100km, with some pilots reaching 300-400km), and moving beyond point-to-point architectures.
“Transmission beyond 100km requires the use of repeaters, at least for fibre optics, at least every 2km to 50km of optical fibre. These will be necessary to be able to deploy quantum networks and connect multiple senders and receivers and, in time, to create a quantum internet,” she explained.
And, because commercialisation of repeaters is still in its early days, price points are in the $25,000 to $50,000 range, making it “rather prohibitive”. She added: “Vendors not only have to provide affordable photon detectors and create quantum repeaters for fixed-line communications, they also need to solve degradation issues over long distances, both in ground and air communication links.”