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Deutsche Telekom strikes yet another quantum computing deal

German incumbent Deutsche Telekom appears to be on a mission to offer corporate clients the broadest possible choice of quantum computing provider.

January 11, 2024

2 Min Read

Its T-Systems division has established yet another partnership, this time with Austria-based Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT).

Based in Innsbruck and spun out of the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, AQT specialises in what are called ion trap-based quantum computers.

According to AQT, these use electrical fields to trap single, charged ions – each one representing a single quantum bit (qubit) – inside a vacuum chamber. Each qubit is then manipulated and measured by precisely-timed laser pulses. DT said ion trap quantum computers are characterised by the high quality of their calculations.

At 128 qubits, AQT's quantum computer is Europe's most powerful. In addition to the clever tech, AQT has designed its quantum computers to fit within industry-standard, 19-inch server racks.

In 2022, it received a €2.5 million grant from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator fund.

Under the deal with DT, clients will get cloud-based access to AQT's quantum computers via T-Systems' multi-quantum cloud offering. T-Systems also provides training, and access to ready-made quantum algorithms and applications via the PlanQK platform.

DT said it has carried out successful test runs, and the service is fully customer-ready.

"Together with T-Systems, we offer our customers hands-on access to the best quantum computers in Europe," said AQT founder and CEO Thomas Monz. "We are convinced that the synergy between our quantum computers and T-Systems' cloud infrastructure will open up completely new capabilities and markets for Europe."

For DT, this is the third agreement between T-Systems and a quantum computing provider in less than 12 months.

In July, DT signed a memorandum of understanding with IQM Quantum Computers. Just like the AQT deal, it will give T-Systems clients cloud-based access to IQM's upcoming Radiance quantum computer.

Based in Espoo, Finland, IQM's Radiance is a 54-qubit quantum computer designed for high-performance computing (HPC), data centres and governments. It is due to be made available from the third quarter.

In addition to Radiance, IQM is also working on a smaller, less expensive quantum computer. The 5-qubit Spark will be offered as a turnkey solution for use by laboratories and educational institutions that will use it to conduct experiments and carry out research.

In March, DT also struck a quantum computing deal with IBM, giving T-Systems access to the venerable tech giant's 127-qubit Eagle computer. When it was unveiled in 2021, it was the world's most powerful quantum processor.

While most companies today don't need access to quantum computing resources, DT's willingness to offer cloud-based quantum computing access suggests it thinks that will change in the not-too-distant future.

"We identified quantum computing early on as a critical key technology for the future," said Jörn Kellermann, SVP of global portfolio and technology excellence at T-Systems. "The first customers are already live on the T-Systems Quantum Cloud and the cooperation with AQT expands their possibilities – on a sovereign, European infrastructure."

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