Canada’s First Quantum-Communication Test Bed
At the end of October, the regional Government of Québec and the national Government of Canada announced over $10 million is being invested in the first Quantum Communication Test Bed available in Canada.
ID Quantique (IDQ) partner Numana, a Quebec-based, not-for-profit organization, will be responsible for the deployment and operation of the test bed, which will enable a wide range of organizations to experiment with quantum technology–based systems and applications.
IDQ has a long-standing relationship with stakeholders, both commercial and academic, in the region. Since 2022, IDQ has been collaborating with Numana to prepare the test bed, which will link the cities of Montreal, Quebec City, and the DistriQ Quantum Innovation Zone in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
IDQ’s fourth generation of QKD devices will be used to distribute secure keys to the link encryptors provided by Ciena, charged with securing the new fiber-based quantum infrastructure. Telco operators Bell and Telus are playing a central role in deploying the physical infrastructure of the test bed, as well as providing access to their fiber optic network.
Benefits of the project include:
- A multi-hub, multi-node, and multi usage test bed – Organizations interested in using the test bed will be able to do so from several locales, which will offer a variety of features that can be leveraged to configure different network topologies and validate use cases.
- A test bed that is open, collaborative, adaptable and scalable – The test bed will be scalable and its parameters adjustable to meet the needs of participants and a wide range of verticals (health, finance, critical infrastructure, transportation, security, military operations, telecom, etc.).
This test bed is the only one of its kind in Canada. It will position Quebec as a national leader and potentially serve as a cornerstone for future quantum communication research across the country, as outlined in Canada’s National Quantum Strategy.
Comments from Participants in the Project
In the words of François Borrelli, President and CEO of Numana:
“With this project, our ambition is to accelerate quantum technology in Quebec, and help the industry develop leading-edge products to transform the province into a true global leader in quantum communication. This project aligns with Numana’s new positioning as a technology think tank which analyzes disruptive technologies and conducts field projects to test them and accelerate their adoption.”
According to the Honorable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, MP for Hochelaga, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec:
“Quebec and Canada are carving out their space in the economy of the future, and our government is there to support them. Numana’s project will transform our economy, underpin our long-term growth and enhance our competitiveness going forward. By supporting this kind of innovation, we are contributing not only to giving Quebec small and mid-sized businesses and organizations a leg up in the marketplace, but also to strengthening our global leadership in this emerging field. Congratulations to Mr. Borrelli and the entire team behind this catalyst of technological innovation!”
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region says:
“The quantum communication loop of Numana represents a significant step towards enabling the creation of a unique network in Canada. This initiative reaffirms Quebec’s position as a key player in the fields of quantum and telecommunications, excellent new for the existing ecosystem.”
About ID Quantique
ID Quantique’s Quantum Sensing business unit provides photon counting solutions for the visible and near infrared regions of the optical spectrum, pulsed laser sources, counting & timing electronics and photonic sensing solutions for both industrial and research applications in various domains, such as quantum physics, communication, biological and material sciences, defense and security, oil and gas, etc.
To request more information or a quotation for any ID Quantique products, contact IL Photonics.