Who would have imagined that today’s classical computers would face the possibility of being relegated to the background someday and be out-performed by a more advanced one called a quantum computer. But such is the nature of technological innovations which never stands still but rather has the ability to create new industries and re-create existing ones. Whether quantum computers would become household devices is a question time and technological research will answer but for now, the tech industries are on the race to invent what would be a supercomputer of the future. One of the applications of quantum computing is the opportunities it presents for the telecom industry.
The Growth Of Quantum Computing: From the 1990s To Now
Quantum computing is not relatively a new topic. The concept of modeling a system that would capture minute atomic behavior and leverage such technology to solve other industry problems was already under scrutiny since the nineties and is the tenets of quantum computing.
The growth of the technology was slowed down for a while when researchers were stalled with challenges. But recently, the field has gained traction among big techs including the aviation, and telecom industries.
The Leaders In Developing Quantum Computers
IBM, Atom Computing, Google, Xanadu, Zapata Computing, and Azure Quantum, are some of the leading players in developing quantum computers.
Massive investment capital is being poured into this new technology although there is not much real-life application of it yet. IBM has promised to roll out its 1000qbts of their quantum which would be a major milestone in the sector.
The Challenges Of Quantum Computing
Quantum computing promises to be the future of computing if researchers are able to overcome the hurdles it brings. “The power of quantum computing comes from the ability to store a complex state in a single bit.
This also makes quantum systems difficult to build, verify, and design. Quantum states are fragile, so fabrication must be precise, and bits must often operate at very low temperatures,” said Diana Franklin and Frederic T. Chong.
Why Is Quantum Computing Superior?
Features that distinguish it and make it more superior to the classical computer is its speed in tackling challenges, its diversity in solving both chemical, mathematical, biological, and business-related problems that classical computers would otherwise never be able to solve.
But researchers say that research into quantum computing is only one-fifth into its success. A lot is required to turn the technology from being mere wishful thinking to an achievable goal of the 21st century.
Quantum Computing And Why It Matters For Telecom
In October 2019, Google announced that they had overcome the nebulous challenges confronting quantum computing, leading the tech giant to declare themselves as quantum supremacists. In a demonstration, Google showed, with their quantum computer, they could solve a problem in about three minutes, something that would have taken the world’s super fastest classical computer many years to solve according to Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, in a CNBC video.
The announcement is a major milestone in the field of quantum computing and leading industries in tech, business, research organizations, and government-backed research institutes have jumped into the fast-growing industry.
Investment In Quantum Research
In a short time, the investment capital pushed into quantum research alone has sky-rocketed. In August, the U.S. announced their intention to invest one billion dollars in AI and quantum computing research as reported by The Verge.
More surprisingly, in research, the quantum computing ecosystem is projected to see more than $64 billion investment by 2030, revealing the lucrativity of this technology.
Quantum computing distinguishes itself from classical computing through its superposition, interference, and entanglement characteristics. By superposition, a subatomic particle is capable of existing in two different states at the same time.
It can exist in a superposition state of up and down or 1 and 0 simultaneously and can process many operations at the same time.
Classical computers are incapable of quantum computing due to superposition. Classical computers can only exist in a state of either 1 or 0 and never the two states at the same time.
Also, quantum entanglement occurs when each spin in a superposition state, still interacts with each other while the waves of the electrons create an interference pattern which looks like the pattern of a wave.
Unit Of Information Of Quantum Computing
The basic unit of information of quantum computing is the qubit or the quantum bit and has amplitude for being zero and one. This is different from the traditional bits of measurements and becomes clear when compared to the traditional computer which has its basic unit of information measured in bits. The quantum information is also denser than the information classical computers feed on.
Quantum Computing In the Cloud for Telecom Industry
Quantum computing has vast applications in solving real-time problems across several industries including the telecom industry. Quantum computing is especially essential in the telecom sector due to its usefulness in improving site planning and optimization which in turn helps the industry to save time and maximize network quality differentiation.
Would quantum computer users be allowed access to the internet, then quantum computing in the cloud would have been achieved.
5G, IoT, And Other Telecom Feats
5G technology is a great feat in the telecommunication industry as it promises high speed and the capacity to connect devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). The hype that accompanied the 5G network turned out to be mere hype as even after one year, the vast majority of cities are yet to have the connectivity. But with the introduction of quantum computing, this may be the best thing to happen to the telecom sector.
The telecom industry is full of aggressive competition among major players because customers are constantly in search of network providers that can afford them a network service with maximum speed and security.
Although its full potential for real-time application is yet to be fully harnessed and may take a decade to achieve according to experts, quantum computing can help the sector improve its services. Telecom Italia (TIM) has claimed to be the first operator in Europe to apply quantum computing live in planning its next-generation network provision in a report by Telecom TV.
According to the report, TIM “used the quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) algorithm – which is useful for machine learning because it can identify patterns in sequences of data – on D-Wave’s commercially available 2000Q quantum computer, to plan 4.5G and 5G network parameters. TIM said it performed the task 10 times faster than traditional methods.”
Additionally, with QUBO models used in planning Cell IDs, Telecom Italia’s customers had a more stable VoLTE experience, TV Telecom said.
Security Challenges of Quantum Computing
Huge technological innovations like quantum computing, which has the enormous ability to tackle challenges, usually create security loopholes that the industry must not overlook. Quantum computers are at risk of cyber-attacks and so do they pose a risk of attack to other IT sectors. The use of quantum computing in the telecom industry presents security challenges in the private data of customers.
Technological development stages in the last decade have seen a massive shift from traditional methods of doing things to full-fledged online methods. Such a massive shift, with the introduction of 5G technology and the promise of the interconnectedness of devices including cars, makes users continually open to internet attacks and security hacks. The protection of the data of users has never become more relevant.
Quantum computers can launch attacks capable of cracking asymmetric cryptography. Once successful, they then render the entire PKI-based encryption method security experts use unreliable. These security concerns have raised the bar for quantum cryptography; a research field dedicated to building a secure network following the usage of quantum computing.
Research in quantum computing has graduated from years of micro laboratory research to more elaborate commercial research with increased capital investment funding. Incorporating quantum computing in the cloud to enhance a higher generation network will bring about the tech revolution for the sector.