- IMDA’s NQSN+ will advance Singapore’s vision of a quantum-safe nation in the next ten years.
- IMDA partners NQSN to co-lead the first standardisation of the QKD protocol framework at the International Telecommunication Union together with Japan.
- IMDA has also signed a MoU with South Korea’s NIA to build biliteral cooperations in quantum technologies between the two countries.
SINGAPORE – 06 JUN 2023
At the ATxSummit Social, part of Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG), the region’s most influential technology event, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Heng Swee Keat, announced the launch of the National Quantum-Safe Network Plus (NQSN+) which aims to deliver quantum-safe communications across Singapore.
Making early moves
The NQSN+ is part of Singapore’s Digital Connectivity Blueprint launched by Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Mrs Josephine Teo on Monday, 5 June 2023, ahead of ATxSG. The Blueprint outlines the next bound of Singapore’s digital connectivity which will take us up to 2030. Beyond Singapore’s strategic priorities, one of the early moves Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is making is in the NQSN+ to enhance the resilience and security of businesses in Singapore’s digital economy.
Quantum computing is an emerging technology that uses principles of quantum physics to solve problems too complex for classical computers. Quantum computers are also expected to unlock unprecedented advancements in raw computing power, simulation and optimisation with the potential to revolutionise industries and spur innovation.
At the same time, quantum computers will introduce new security risks as they can break many encryption algorithms that we rely on today. Singapore needs to be ready to adopt quantum-safe technologies to strengthen our digital infrastructure and build resistance against quantum attacks.
Securing our digital connectivity – towards a quantum-safe Singapore in 10 years.
Building on more than 10 years of quantum 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 quantum-safe communications technologies to enhance network security. Collaborating with universities, companies and government agencies, NQSN has demonstrated the technical feasibility of deploying quantum-safe technologies, such as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), to protect against quantum computing risks.
As a first step towards the broader vision of a quantum-safe Singapore, IMDA’s NQSN+ will support network operators to deploy quantum-safe networks nationwide, so that businesses have easy access to solutions to safeguard their critical data.
The NQSN+ will start with at least two network operators. Each will build a nationwide, interoperable quantum safe network that can serve all businesses. Businesses can work with the NQSN+ operators to integrate quantum-safe solutions to safeguard their critical data and information in the quantum age.
IMDA has received proposals from Singtel, and from a joint partnership between SPTel and SpeQtral, and is evaluating these proposals.
Collaborating with global leaders for a quantum-safe tomorrow, today
As part of Singapore’s efforts to push the next bound of interoperable quantum-safe networks, IMDA together with the NQSN team, are driving international and local standardisation of quantum-safe technologies. Singapore will co-lead the first standardisation of the QKD protocol framework at the ITU Telecommmunication Standardisation Sector (ITU-T), together with Japan. Domestically, we have also published Singapore’s first Reference Specification (RS) on QKD Networks to guide technology vendors and organisations keen to deploy QKD networks, today. These efforts would serve to promote the deployment of QKD networks, fostering the adoption of quantum security both nationally and globally.
International connectivity is a key element for Singapore to remain plugged into the global economy. Singapore aims to integrate NQSN+ with quantum-safe networks of other cities. This will enable our enterprises to build and deploy quantum-safe solutions across global markets. As a start, IMDA has signed a MoU with the Republic of Korea’s National Information Society Agency (NIA) to collaborate on quantum technologies and standardisation efforts. This collaboration will also faciliate the exchange of learnings and experiences between the network operators in their implementation of quantum-safe networks.
About Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG)
ATxSG 2023 is Asia’s leading technology event jointly organised by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Informa Tech - supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). The event consists of two main segments, ATxSummit and ATxEnterprise.
ATxSummit (6 – 7 June), the apex event of ATxSG held at Capella Singapore, comprises an invitation-only Plenary covering themes like Generative AI, web 3.0, digital x sustainability across four key pillars: Tech x Trust, Tech x Good, Tech x Builders and Tech x Creative. ATxSummit also features the ATxAI and SG Women in Tech conferences, alongside G2G and G2B closed-door roundtables to facilitate closer partnerships between the public sector and digital industry.
ATxEnterprise (7 – 9 June), organised by Informa Tech and held at Singapore Expo, will host conferences as well as exhibition marketplaces comprising B2B enterprises across Technology, Media, Infocomm, Satellite industries and start-ups. ATxEnterprise consists of BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia, SatelliteAsia, TechXLR8 and InnovFest x Elevating Founders. For more information on ATxSG, please visit asiatechxsg.com.
About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.
For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on LinkedIn (@IMDA), Facebook (@IMDAsg) and Instagram (@IMDAsg).
(Mr) Aung Thi Ha