SK Telecom to invest further $65 million in ID Quantique

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South Korean telecommunications provider, SK Telecom, has extended its partnership with ID Quantique, with the former investing $65 million in the latter.

The relationship between the two companies began a number of years ago and has subsequently grown, with an investment in 2016 from the provider of US$ 2 million. In 2017 it developed the world’s smallest (5x5mm) Quantum Random Number Generator based on technology and know-how licensed from IDQ and as part of this additional investment, SK Telecom’s quantum laboratory and activities will become part of IDQ.

According to market research firm Market Research Media, the global quantum cryptography communications will grow into a US$ 24.75 billion industry by 2025, and macrotrends such as 5G and IoT will be major accelerators for IDQ’s quantum-safe and quantum sensing solutions in a world where exponential amounts of data will be exchanged.

Park Jung-ho, CEO and president of SK Telecom, said: ‘In the 5G era where everything in the real world is connected wirelessly, the issue of safety will continue to rise. We will continue our utmost efforts to provide our customers with the world’s safest 5G technology.’

Agreed Dr. Grégoire Ribordy, CEO and co-founder of IDQ: ‘Quantum communications technologies will play a significant role in securing our data and communications, both in backbone networks and at the edge, in an era where the quantum computer will render vulnerable much of today’s cryptography. We are proud to work closely with SK Telecom. Partnering with them will allow us to accelerate development of leading-edge solutions to meet these market needs.’

The companies will, in parallel, collaborate in the field of Quantum Sensing in order to keep growing the company’s core quantum photonics technologies and provide the most innovative solutions for high potential industrial markets. Dr. Ribordy believes the move is a step forward for the company, saying in an email: ‘The investment will strengthen our position as the global leader in quantum-safe cryptography and quantum sensing solutions, and it will also help our company to continue to develop global markets and partnerships.’

The key management team will remain in place, and the headquarters of IDQ will remain in Geneva, Switzerland with R&D centres in Geneva, Bristol (UK) and as of the second half of the year in Seoul (South Korea).


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