SK Telecom Co. will acquire ID Quantique (IDQ), the world's No.1 quantum-safe cryptography solutions provider based in Switzerland.
The company announced on Feb. 26 that it will receive 50% majority shares in IDQ with the investment of 70 billion won (US$65.38 million). SK Telecom’s quantum technology laboratory also plans to make an investment in kind additionally. The acquisition will be completed by the end of the first half of this year.
Quantum cryptography is an advanced concept communications technology that is believed to be one of the most secure methods of encryption conceived to date, as messages that are quantum-encrypted are impossible to intercept in transmission, and can only be viewed by the intended recipient. IDQ CEO Gregoire Ribordy will keep running the company even after the acquisition.
Established in 2001, IDQ launched the world's first Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) in 2002 and the world's first commercial Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems in 2006. The company has been a leading quantum crypto company in the global market since the establishment. IDQ has nearly 30 researchers with master's and Ph.d. degrees and ranks first in terms of global sales, excluding China, and number of patents.
SK Telecom plans to expand its business to global markets through IDQ. The company will first push into the markets of North America, Europe and Middle East based on IDQ's extensive global partnerships that range from telecommunication service providers and transmission equipment companies in these areas.
In addition, SK Telecom will also push ahead with new business based on IDQ’s quantum sensor technology. A quantum sensor technology detects and senses a tiny size of quantum called an particle of light. The quantum sensor technology can greatly improve the technical level of autonomous vehicle, satellite, biotechnology and semiconductor areas.
"In the 5G era where everything in the real world is connected wirelessly, the issue of safety will continue to rise," said Park Jung-ho, CEO and President of SK Telecom. "We will continue our utmost efforts to provide our customers with the world's safest 5G technology through the acquisition of IDQ."