First quantum call made between Moscow and St. Petersburg
The first videoconference over the main secure quantum channel between Moscow and St. Petersburg was held on 8 June 2021.
Taking part were the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov and the Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov.
At about 700 km, the Moscow – St. Petersburg backbone quantum network is the longest in Europe and the second longest in the world.
The network was created on the basis of original domestic solutions. The new infrastructure enables the transfer of large amounts of data at the highest security level. Information security is guaranteed by the principles of quantum physics.
Under discussion during the quantum call were the prospects for cooperation with the region and the possibilities of using this technology. A demonstration of domestic equipment for quantum communications and the operation of a monitoring system for the quantum network also took place.
On 8 June, St. Petersburg and Russian Railways signed an agreement on cooperation and interaction in the field of quantum communications and communication systems. The partners will contribute to the development of the quantum communications market in St. Petersburg and the strengthening of the scientific and technical potential of the city’s enterprises and the introduction of quantum technologies for data transmission and protection.
"We are glad that we can implement complex projects in a short time with partners like Russian Railways within the framework of the Digital Economy national programme," said Dmitry Chernyshenko. "Let me remind you: the roadmap for quantum communications was only signed in August last year, but now we have achieved a concrete result – the quantum network, which we launched today. This technology is in great demand both from government agencies and, what is important, from business. A large number of partners were involved in the process of constructing this quantum network – from small innovation and scientific institutions to large corporations. This is a great achievement for our scientists in the Year of Science and Technology."
Chernyshenko also noted that such technologies are in great demand in the light of the growing cyber threats. "Russia is among the leaders, and the first segment’s length of 700 km is the second longest in the world. We have big plans and ambitions, and we will develop this technology so that secure quantum communications networks are available throughout the country. The project’s continuation has been provided with the necessary funding and by 2024, we will have 7,000 km.
"It took less than a year to implement the pilot project, and today we are opening a new page in the country’s history," said Oleg Belozerov. "The project for the construction of a pilot section of the main Moscow – St. Petersburg quantum network has been completed. This is undoubtedly a real breakthrough in the field of domestic telecommunications. And this is just the first step. According to the roadmap, we have to implement 120 projects and 75 products and services."
Belozerov stressed that the Moscow – St. Petersburg backbone quantum network will provide an opportunity to test new technological solutions and introduce critical services. "Today we can already say that the Russian Federation occupies a leading global position with regard to quantum communications," said the head of Russian Railways.
The Company will also take part in organising projects to implement domestic software communication systems in the activities of the governmental executive bodies in St. Petersburg, using the Company’s experience in building a communication system and applying artificial intelligence technologies.