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IP Telecom recruits Nokia to expand Portuguese fibre network

Fibre Optic

IP Telecom has enlisted kit vendor Nokia to extend its fibre optic network around metro areas in Portugal, with a key emphasis on quantum security.

Nokia will supply IP Telecom with networking equipment to build an encrypted optical data centre interconnect (DCI) solution. The network will use 100Gbps and 200Gbps data rates and will apparently be ready to deliver 400GE services in the future.

Nokia claims there has been a rise in sophisticated data theft and the line encryption is supposed to protect against unauthorized data tapping in the fibre optic network.

The kit it will provide as part of the deal includes the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect – Modular (PSI-M) optical transport platforms and the 1830 SMS secure management server.

The 1830 SMS platform is where the security number crunching happens. Running the encryption of the optical links from central location, Nokia says the solution gives ‘immediate protection against highly sophisticated brute-force attacks, including threats from emerging quantum computers.’

IP Telecom has data centres in Lisbon, Porto and Viseu, and this network expansion will allow it to reach out to additional nodes throughout Portugal.

“Nokia’s modular optical networking solution allows us to easily upgrade each customer’s cloud DCI as needed and at the same time, ease any concerns about data protection,” said Pedro Mendonça, IP and Telcos Director at IP Telecom. “The encryption capabilities are a differentiator for us.”

Luis Bueno, Head of Enterprise for Spain and Portugal at Nokia, added: “This deal underlines Nokia’s role as a major player in the Portuguese ICT ecosystem with a growing footprint in the country. IP Telecom is a stand-out service provider in Portugal, delivering a range of services to business and government alike. We are excited that the operator has selected us to expand capacity in its cloud DCI network, connecting Portugal in an economical manner while also providing a high degree of security. This truly sets IP Telecom apart from its peers.”

Like any new technology, the development of quantum computing presents both opportunities and threats. The enormous processing speeds that could help solve any number of problems, whether its cracking scientific and engineering conundrums or mapping the stars, could also be used offensively to run roughshod over less sophisticated security measures.

Last month, an EU-backed consortium said it now has a blueprint for quantum network architecture that will secure the bloc’s critical comms infrastructure. The commission said: “The EuroQCI will safeguard sensitive data and critical infrastructures by integrating quantum-based systems into existing communication infrastructures, providing an additional security layer based on quantum physics. It will reinforce the protection of Europe’s governmental institutions, their data centres, hospitals, energy grids, and more, becoming one of the main pillars of the EU’s new Cybersecurity Strategy for the coming decades.”

On one level it’s the same arms race cyber security has always been, with hackers and security/tech firms trying to stay on top of each other’s methods. However the potential step change of a significantly more powerful computational model rendering existing defences in many ways obsolete represents something beyond the usual cat and mouse games of hackers and cyber security types. The dangers and the possibilities quantum computing represents is bound to be an ever more important aspect of security strategies going forwards, both in the private and public sectors.


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