Athonet’s Quantum 5G network triumphs at Glomo Awards


We’re pleased to announce that our technology, recognized as the first quantum-secure 5G network has been honored with two prestigious Glomo Awards at MWC 2024: “Best Mobile Security Solution” and the ‘’CTO Choice Award”. This brings the total of awards that Athonet, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquisition, has received to seven.  

The Glomo Awards, hosted by the GSMA, represent the highest level of achievement in the mobile industry, spotlighting innovation, excellence, and impact on a global scale.This recognition not only validates our commitment to innovation but also underscores the critical importance of securing digital infrastructure against evolving threats. 

Quantum threat to wireless networks 

For governments, enterprises, and citizens, data security represents a major global challenge today. With large-scale data breaches happening daily, today’s communications are highly vulnerable to store-now, decrypt-later attacks using quantum computing. In our view, this represents the most significant and urgent global threat to network security, yet it is not commonly understood. 

As the world moves from wireless first to wireless only, end-customers are increasingly concerned with the security of highly sensitive and mission critical information that they are moving to wireless networks, which are seen as inherently less secure than wireline.  

The problem is two-fold: 1) creating a solution that is inherently quantum secure and that can be massively deployed across billions of endpoints that may range from the most sophisticated 5G devices to the simplest type of sensor and 2) this must be done without introducing significant complexity, cost, or technological overhead.  

Our quantum 5G solution meets both these requirements. 


Athonet’s joint approach with Arquit and Ampliphae to address quantum security needs 

Leveraging the expertise of Athonet and innovation from Arqit and Ampliphae, we have developed a comprehensive approach to securing mobile networks against quantum threats. According to IDC, the quantum computing market is projected to reach$7.6 billion in 2027 and our solution is strategically positioned to address this burgeoning demand. 


Quantum-safe solution overview 

As shown in the diagram below, the solution is comprised of a radio-access network (RAN) from Athonet at Arqit’s London campus that can be connected back to an Athonet mobile core in a remote data center or central site (in this particular case, AWS cloud). The Arqit quantum-safe encryption platform-as-a-service protects the communication channel between these endpoints from quantum attacks whether by store-now decrypt-later or direct quantum agents. We deployed the active endpoints from Arqit in both the small cell and on the core network infrastructure. In addition, the Ampliphae probes monitor all network interfaces in real-time to ensure that they are using quantum-safe cryptography at all times. 

The Athonet quantum-safe 5G network leverages Arquit and Ampliphae innovation to ensure secure communications at all times.  

The Athonet quantum-safe 5G network leverages Arquit and Ampliphae innovation to ensure secure communications at all times.  

The solution offers versatile deployment options, allowing customers to choose between public, private, telco, or government clouds, as well as data centers or COTS hardware. Streamlined APIs on both Athonet’s and Arqit’s platforms facilitate seamless integration with customers’ applications, workflows, and control systems.  

Its adaptability not only ensures ease of deployment in public mobile networks but also makes it exceptionally suited for governmental and private mobile networks. This flexibility enables highly customized deployments aligned with the specific needs and use cases of each customer, serving as a pivotal competitive advantage in the value creation segment for 5G. 


Quantum security innovation 

The solution uses symmetric key distribution unlike previous deployments which required keys to be physically distributed whether on software or hardware and created unnecessary cost, complexity, and scale. Physical key distribution also made it difficult to rotate keys and certificates in the field whether as a preventative measure or when they have been compromised. The footprint and energy consumption of traditional solutions means that they are largely not usable for the vast number of small footprint, low-cost IoT devices. 

In contrast, our joint solution overcomes these challenges with a software-based, affordable approach. The patented technology uses software endpoints to distribute quantum-secure symmetric keys to be dynamically created, renewed, rotated, and refreshed in real-time every 30 seconds. While each key is intrinsically quantum safe, our ability to renew them every 30 seconds makes the platform  virtually impossible to compromise across the range of form factors, platforms, and devices in today’s hyperconnected world. 

Implementation is simple since the solution is based on ISO/IEC 11770-2, RFC 8784, RFC 9258 standards and can integrate easily with existing protocols such as IPSEC and TLS Dynamic real-time key rotation for enhanced security. 

With our combined and pre-integrated solution, mobile operators, governments, enterprises, and consumers finally have a simple, affordable and low foot-print solution to deploy quantum-safe networks for all.