Affordable Access

Convergence of quantum and classical communications

  • Aymeric, Raphaël
Publication Date
Oct 18, 2022
External links


Quantum key distribution (QKD) protocols harness fundamental quantum properties of the light to construct communication channels sensitive to eavesdropping. In order to develop the technology at large scale, one of the main challenges to overcome is the deployment cost of such systems. A significant step towards reducing deployment costs would be to use the existing optical fiber infrastructure to perform QKD, since this would relax the need to use dark (and expensive !) fiber. However this also means we must insure QKD protocols can coexist with classical communications, which can be challenging as quantum states are very sensitive to perturbations. Here, we focus particularly on continuous-variable (CV) QKD because their natural proximity to classical coherent communication systems indicates that they are good candidates for coexistence over the same fiber. Assuming CV-QKD is destined to be incorporated in classical communication links, an interesting question is whether the coexistence with classical channels will necessarily be detrimental to the CV-QKD protocol. We show that in some cases, coexistence can actually provide an advantage to the CV-QKD protocol. In a first project, we experimentally demonstrate that a classical channel can be used as a pilot signal for the quantum channel. Thus, the need for pilot-tones, mandatory in a typical CV-QKD protocol, can be relaxed. In a second project, we show that the noise generated by classical channels can be used to ”hide” the quantum signal. The quantum communication therefore can become covert thanks to the classical channels. Covert QKD protocols are interesting because they provide extreme security guarantees. We investigate the necessary conditions for covert CV-QKD as well as scenarios for its deployment in a practical setting

Report this publication


Seen <100 times