Japan's Toshiba Corp has officially announced that it will put into practical use this fiscal year its quantum cryptography communications system, which is theoretically invulnerable to hacking.
Later, it will introduce a paid subscription system for secure communications services, hoping to increase its sales to more than 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in fiscal 2035, the company said on Sunday.
Quantum cryptography communication is a technology that relies on the use of photons – single particles of light – to transmit data encryption keys needed for ciphering and deciphering.
The sender transmits ciphered data along with an encryption key so that the authorised receiver can decipher the message. If an unauthorised third party tries to decipher the encrypted data, the photons will be altered to render the key unusable.
As a starter, Toshiba will provide the defence ministry, Self-Defence Forces and the National Police Agency with equipment and a communications channel developed by Toshiba for exchanging keys during the January-March period next year, the final quarter of fiscal 2020.
Beyond this, the company plans to expand its business through collaboration with communication-related business firms and other entities in the US, Britain, and other Asian countries.
By fiscal 2025, it will also launch subscription services for its equipment and software to be used by companies and other entities at fixed rates. Envisaged are their internal exchanges of highly classified clients’ data, for instance.
Quantum cryptography is considered the “ultimate code” for its ultrahigh degree of security. As the technology may become a sure-fire countermeasure against the risks of codes being deciphered, other countries, including China, South Korea, and those in Europe and North America are advancing its development.
Toshiba reckons that the global market for quantum cryptography communications will expand to about 2.1 trillion yen by fiscal 2035. By acquiring one-quarter of the global market share, Toshiba aims to have its technologies become the virtual industry standards.
THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN (JAPAN)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK