A supercomputer or quantum computing is a type of computer that has the ability to perform very complex processes and actions. With multiple thousands of processors, these machines are able to perform trillions of calculations and operations per SECOND!
Supercomputers have indeed accelerated humanity’s technological progress in several aspects. From everyday life enhancements, to maximizing commercial profit, to socioeconomic outlooks and projections, and even space exploration.
Supercomputers have made the seemingly impossible, well, possible.
The impact they have had on humanity is undeniable, but what is the next step in the world of computing?
What benefits could that bring us, and would the risks that come with that next step outweigh those benefits?
Technological giants, namely Google and IBM, have been in a race to develop the first multipurpose quantum computer!
The way quantum computers work provides us with means of encryption, decryption, analysis, and unprecedented problem solving power. Although, this does come at a high cost, be it financial or potential detriments to online security and privacy; it is just a matter of how efficient and safely the world manages this new ground breaking technology.
Quantum in the world of Telecom
Quantum communication is an emerging branch of telecommunications engineering, and it is based on the principles of quantum mechanics. Managing to build a quantum network will open doors of endless possibilities for the telecommunications industry. This network would hugely increase the bandwidth of optical telecom networks, which makes data transfer faster and more efficient than ever before. Quantum will also significantly increase the internet speed, allowing a better development of Iot.
According to a report by Research And Markets in 2018:
“The global market for quantum computing services and hardware will exceed $6.4 billion USD by 2023.
Future technologies, like 5G and quantum computing, are instrumental in delivering fixed-point wireless broadband service, as well as IoT, AI, and smart cities technologies.”
Recently, a report by Google had stated that it had attained Quantum Superiority, meaning it had developed the first functional quantum computer that was able to solve a complex problem. Great, Google made a computer, so what is the big deal? The problem that it solved, would have taken the fastest traditional supercomputer ten-thousand years to solve. Google’s computer solved it in 3 Minutes and 20 Seconds!
However it is worth noting that this specific problem had been chosen to be solved by the computer. In reality a quantum computer that will be used to solve practical tasks is still years away.
Quantum will change the world
But, when we do reach that point, we can expect to process information and solve complex problems at unprecedented speeds. Literally all sectors ranging from businesses to the military will benefit from the exponential increase in speed and efficiency. Machine learning will become far easier due to the taxing nature of its algorithms on classical computers. Scientific & chemical research, will boom because quantum computers will be able to simulate significant complex chemical reactions that would be nearly impossible to replicate on hardware with inferior processing power.
Militaries are also constantly pushing for this technology because of the impact it would have on encryption. In fact it will make it far easier to crack codes and decrypt secret messages due to the sheer amount of algorithms a quantum computer can possess at any given point.
However, this could be a double-edged sword as financial, e-commercial and electronic security is almost solely based on encryption. In telecom, the encryptions that MNOs and Applications apply to messaging, calling and other VAS would be in danger of being decoded, and having all the information in their databases exposed. But the advantages of this incredible technological advancement far outweigh the disadvantages that can be surely worked around.
In fact, the true emergence of practical quantum computing is only a matter of time, especially with the giants of the tech world continuously pouring more and more investment into it. Worrying about the detriments of innovations like this hinders our progress towards efficiency; this is why we must accept them, work on making them secure and accessible, and keep moving forward in order to push the limits of the telecom industry. The more investments into this domain, the more the ever-growing field of telecommunications will flourish.
After all, time is money – and quantum can create A LOT of time.