QuantTel: Quantum Telecommunications


A project of  SQIG at  IT, funded by IT (November 1, 2008 - October 31, 2010).

QuantTel is a project that joins the theoretical expertise of the Security and Quantum Information Group (SQIG) at IT Lisbon and the skills in quantum optics experiments of the Optical Communications group (OC-Av) at IT Aveiro to tackle new challenges in the emergent area of quantum secure telecommunications. Its scientific objectives are:

  1. To design a quantum protocol for the authentication of classical messages with enhanced security and to implement the respective prototype with single photons in optical fibers and nano-fibers;
  2. To develop a quantum protocol for contract signing and to implement it in the laboratory using entangled photons.

Furthermore, this 24 months project aims at gathering the interest and expertise in quantum telecommunications within IT in order to develop internationally-competitive research and train new human resources in this new and strategically important area for secure telecommunications.


Quantum telecommunications is a new and rapidly evolving research area. Almost all the emphasis has been put in quantum key distribution, now a photon-based commercial application and the most significant success of the recent field of Quantum Information Science. Yet, there are other relevant information security challenges where quantum bits can offer enhanced privacy. Thus, given that IT is still a relatively new comer to the field, and building on our local expertise and strengths to attain an internationally competitive level in the short term, we have decided to center the QuantTel project in the design and implementation of new protocols for two very important practical problems: message authentication and contract signing.


The project is thus constituted by two main tasks, Task 1 and Task 2, corresponding to the objectives described above. Each of these tasks is divided into a theoretical sub-task and an experimental sub-task. The development and analysis of the protocols will be developed by SQIG and the experimental implementations will be carried out by OC-Av, in coordination with the Lisbon team. The implementation will require and motivate the development of fiber techniques to generate, propagate and detect single photons and entangled pairs of photons. The project includes also a Task 0 where general theoretical tools for quantum telecommunications that are relevant for the project will be developed.



For further information contact Paulo Mateus (project coordinator).