Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Quantum computing goes live for TIM in another European first

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 25 February 20

The Italian operator claims to have implemented quantum computing for the first time in Europe on both 4.5G and 5G networks

TIM sure does love to be first in Europe.  Back in January, TIM announced that it had become the first European commercial network to reach speeds of 2 Gbps. Now, the company is announcing another first, this time related to quantum computing…

TIM sure does love to be first in Europe. 

Back in January, TIM announced that it had become the first European commercial network to reach speeds of 2 Gbps. Now, the company is announcing another first, this time related to quantum computing.
 
Quantum computing exploits the principles of quantum physics, such as superposition, to facilitate complex calculation in extremely short times. In practical terms, this equates to computing power ‘10 times faster than traditional optimisation methods’, according to the press release, and will become even more powerful as the technology matures. 
 
Using D-Wave’s 2000Q quantum computer, TIM has optimised radio cell planning for both 4.5G and 5G, thus allowing smartphones to easily identify each cell’s unique ID. As a result, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service is smoother while traveling, as the smartphone configures itself to the appropriate cells.
 
Until now, quantum computing has primarily been used in the financial, automotive, and chemical industries, but its enormous potential, particularly when coupled with AI, has been of great interest to the telecoms community for many years.
 
As 5G becomes a reality and its accompanying media storm begins to slow, could quantum computing be the next source of hype for the mobile community?
 
Last year, Google claimed to have achieved the long-sought 'quantum supremacy', whereby their quantum computer had solved in 200 seconds a computation that would have taken a supercomputer around 10,000 years to complete. What would the network operators do with that sort of computational power at their fingertips?
 
 
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