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‘Quantum’ phone worth 30 mio developed in Russia

Infotecs software developer and the Moscow State University’s Quantum Technology Center have presented ViPNet QSS Phone, Russia’s first phone that uses quantum cryptography. The phone looks like a corded IP phone connected to a quantum key distribution client and a server.

The new device is based on the fundamental principle of quantum physics which states that it is impossible to localize a photon (particle that transmits information) without changing its state. Using photons, a pair of ‘quantum’ phones create a common key, the company’s website says. If the ViPNet QSS Phone protocol considers that data was stolen or intercepted, it will not create the key necessary to decipher voice traffic.

The device’s data transmission range is some 25 kilometers. The phone is very pricey: one server and two phones will cost some RUR 30 mio ($462K), Vedomosti daily writes.

The phone will come into serial production by the end of 2019. Infotecs plans to sell it to large companies that need trusted means of communication.

Infotecs invested some RUR 700 mio in the development of the device, with RUR 140 mio being provided by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science.

According to Director of the Russian Quantum Center Ruslan Yunusov, the idea of ‘quantum’ phone was earlier implemented in China. The approach of Infotecs is to encrypt data using usual means, and to distribute keys using quantum cryptography. This is more secure than classic cryptography, but still not perfect because quantum cryptography does not encrypt all traffic.

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