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India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has urged the telecommunications industry to propose projects for a R&D initiative aimed at advancing the nation’s quantum communications networks.

In a statement, the DoT announced its intention to create "Quantum Standardization and Testing Labs" designed to foster innovation among quantum technology developers, manufacturers of testing equipment, and academic researchers.

The DoT has invited applications from the communications sector to join these labs and contribute to the development of quantum technologies. Proposals must be submitted by August 5, 2024.

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Quantum communications has emerged as a prominent research focus within the communications and internet sector. The IEEE Communications Society highlighted that leveraging quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement holds promise for enhancing the reliability, energy efficiency, and security of data networks.

Moreover, the advent of a quantum-powered internet could unlock transformative applications in areas such as distributed computing and metrology.

As part of the standardization process, efforts will focus on defining benchmarks and protocols critical for incorporating quantum communication components like quantum key distribution, quantum state analyzers, optical fibers, and related elements into both current and forthcoming communication networks.

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“The main objective is to accelerate research and development (R&D) in quantum technologies, ensuring the interoperability, reliability, and security of quantum communication systems,” the DoT press release stated.

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