A Novel Architecture for Future Classical-Quantum Communication Networks


Konferenz / Medium


Nelson da Fonseca Fabrizio Granelli Riccardo Bassoli Janis Nötzel Frank Fitzek Holger Boche

Research Hub

Research Hub A: Kryptographie der Zukunft
Research Hub B: Eingebettete Sicherheit

Research Challenges

RC 2: Quantum-Resistant Cryptography
RC 5: Physical-Layer Security


The standardisation of 5G is reaching its end, and the networks have started being deployed. Thus, 6G architecture is under study and design, to define the characteristics and the guidelines for its standardisation. In parallel, communications based on quantum-mechanical principles, named quantum communications, are under design and standardisation, leading to the so-called quantum internet. Nevertheless, these research and standardisation efforts are proceeding in parallel, without any significant interaction. Thus, it is essential to discuss an architecture and the possible protocol stack for classical-quantum communication networks, allowing for an effective integration between quantum and classical networks. The main scope of this paper is to provide a joint architecture for quantum-classical communication networks, considering the very recent advancements in the architectural design of 6G and the quantum internet, also defining guidelines and characteristics, which can be helpful for the ongoing standardisation efforts. For this purpose, the article discusses some of the existing main standardisation processes in classical communications and proposed protocol stacks for quantum communications. This aims at highlighting the potential points of connection and the differences that may imply future incompatible developments. The standardisation efforts on the quantum internet cannot overlook the experience gained and the existing standardisation, allowing the creation of frameworks in the classical communication context.


Coding Theory
Complexity Theory
Information Theory
Implementation Attacks
Post-Quantum Cryptography