Deutsche Telekom is on a mission to lower the barriers to quantum computing

The German incumbent's IT arm T-Systems on Thursday announced it will offer customers cloud-based access to IBM's Eagle processor. Unveiled in 2021, it weighs in at 127 qubits, making it the world's most powerful quantum processor to date.

Nick Wood

March 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Deutsche Telekom T Mobile Systems Logo

The German incumbent’s IT arm T-Systems on Thursday announced it will offer customers cloud-based access to IBM’s Eagle processor. Unveiled in 2021, it weighs in at 127 qubits, making it the world’s most powerful quantum processor to date.

This processing power can be used to rapidly reduce the time it takes to crunch through vast data sets, forming the basis for new AI-based applications, or new and improved business and manufacturing processes, for example.

But quantum computers are also highly-specialised, expensive pieces of kit, and until the cost and complexity comes down, remote access remains the only option for the vast majority of companies that want to benefit from their capabilities.

To get customers up to speed on how to leverage IBM’s quantum computer, T-Systems will offer insights and training on how to use it. It will be offered as a range of customisable service plans, ranging from one-day introductory sessions, through to business case proofs-of-concept spanning several months. This will give enterprises a foundation upon which to develop and execute use cases based on quantum computing.

“We are combining quantum and classical computing in a seamless and scalable customer experience.” said T-Systems CEO Adel Al-Saleh, in a statement on Thursday. “Taking these first decisive steps will lower the access barrier to quantum computing,” he continued, adding that “in IBM, we have a trusted partner to deliver this future technology. It is a perfect match for our industry focus and expertise.”

Scott Crowder, vice president of IBM quantum adoption and business development, sounded a similar note, saying the partnership will extend his company’s quantum computing capabilities to a broader ecosystem.

“Our team at IBM is excited to support T-Systems’ and their customers’ exploration of, and aspirations for quantum applications for their business operations,” he said.

Looking further ahead, T-Systems aims to host its own quantum infrastructure, with the support of IBM.

In addition to encouraging enterprise adoption of quantum computing, Deutsche Telekom is also helping the European Union to work out how the technology can be used to secure critical comms networks.

DT last month was selected to coordinate the EU’s EuroQCI (quantum communications infrastructure) project. Its task is to figure out how to integrate quantum security into the terrestrial and satellite networks connecting strategically significant sites across the bloc. Other big names involved in the project include Airbus DS, Thales SIX, and AIT.

Meanwhile, DT’s announcement came just days after Ericsson divulged that distributed quantum computing is one of the areas of research for its new facility in Canada.

The Swedish kit maker has partnered with the University of Ottawa and the Université de Sherbrooke. Post-doctoral fellows at these institutions will collaborate with Ericsson’s own researchers and undertake fellowships at Ericsson as part of the scheme. Similarly to T-Systems and IBM, the aim is to come up with commercial applications of quantum technology that will benefit Canadian businesses.


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About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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