Quantum Key Distribution
New ITUT SG13 Recommendations related to IMT 2020 and Quantum Key Distribution
by Leo Lehmann, Chairman of ITUT SG13 with background information and editing by Alan J Weissberger
Backgrounder:
ITUT SG13 is the lead ITUT study group on: future networks such as IMT2020 networks (nonradio related parts), mobility
management, cloud computing, and trusted network infrastructure. The work is assigned to questions of which the following are related to the non radio aspects of IMT 2020:
Q.6: Quality of service (QoS) aspects including IMT2020 networks
Q.20: IMT2020: Network requirements and functional architecture
Q.21: Network softwarization including softwaredefined networking, network slicing and orchestration
Q.22: Upcoming network technologies for IMT2020 and future networks
Q.23: Fixedmobile convergence including IMT2020
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ITUT SG13 Chairman’s Summary:
The recent (since October 2019) published IMT 2020 (non radio) related recommendations from ITU SG13 are the following:
 Y.3154 (Y.NetSoftSSMO) Resource pooling for scalable network slice service management and orchestration in the IMT2020 network. [see below this article for SG13 liaison to GSMA related to Network Slicing]
 Y.3108 (Y.IMT2020CEF) Capability exposure function in the IMT2020 networks
 Y.3132 (Y.FMCMM) Mobility management for fixed mobile convergence in IMT2020 networks
 Y.3133 (Y.FMCCE) Capability exposure enhancement for supporting FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) in IMT2020 networks
 Y.3173 (Y.MLIMT2020 Intelligencelevel) Framework for evaluating intelligence level of future networks including IMT2020
 Y.3174 (Y.MLIMT2020 DataHandling) Framework for data handling to enable machine learning in future networks including IMT2020
 Y.3175 (Y.qosmlarc) Functional architecture of machine learning based quality of service assurance for the IMT2020 network
 Y.3154 (Y.NetSoftSSMO) Resource pooling for scalable network slice service management and orchestration in the IMT2020 network
Not directly related to IMT 2020, but generally related to network orchestration and optimization is Y.3652 (Y.bDDNreq) “Requirements of big data driven networking” as an useful new document in the Y.365x series.
In addition, SG13 has published two new recommendations for networks to support quantum key distribution (QKD) [1] :
 Y.3800 (Y.QKDN_FR) Overview on networks supporting quantum key distribution
 Y.3801 (Y.QKDN_req) Functional requirements for quantum key distribution networks
 Y.3800 describes the basic conceptual structures of QKD networks as the first of a series of emerging ITU standards on network and security aspects of quantum information technologies. SG13 standards for QKD networks – networks of QKD devices and an overlay network – will enable the integration of QKD technology into largescale ICT networks.
Complementing these activities SG17 standards provide recommendations for the security of these QKD networks.
Note 1. Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a technology using quantum physics to secure the distribution of symmetric encryption keys which solves the problem of key distribution by allowing the exchange of a cryptographic key between two remote parties with informationtheoretic security, guaranteed by the fundamental laws of physics. This key can then be used securely with conventional cryptographic algorithms.
The threats posed by quantum computing have a wide range of impacts since public key algorithms such as RivestShamirAdleman (RSA) and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) are widely used in various security protocols and applications. How to design quantumsafe cryptography that can resist quantum computing attacks is a problem that must be considered for ICT systems to ensure security in the “quantum era”.
In general, there are three possible means to combat quantum computing attacks:

Enhancement of current crypto system: Doubling the current key size can resist Grover’s algorithm which provides a quadratic speedup for quantum search algorithms in comparison to search algorithms on classical computers. However, this is only suitable for symmetric key systems.

Design of new public key system: Utilizing new mathematical problems which have not been cracked by current quantum algorithms, e.g., latticebased and codebased cryptography algorithms, which are more often called postquantum cryptography (PQC). However, even if those new mathematical problems might be proven as robust against known quantum algorithms, they will not be proven secure against quantum algorithms that might be created in the future.

Use of QKD to replace public key based key exchange mechanism: The security of QKD is based on quantum physics principles, which can effectively avoid the threats caused by the increase of computational power or algorithmic “backdoors” faced by traditional public key algorithms. QKD is already proven as robust against quantum algorithms that might be created in the future.
According to Wikipedia, Quantum key distribution is only used to produce and distribute a key, not to transmit any message data. This key can then be used with any chosen encryption algorithm to encrypt (and decrypt) a message, which can then be transmitted over a standard communication channel. The algorithm most commonly associated with QKD is the onetime pad, as it is provably secure when used with a secret, random key. In realworld situations, it is often also used with encryption using symmetric key algorithms like the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm.
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Liaison Q & A between GSMA and ITUT SG13 on Network Slicing – Important output liaison from March 2020 SG13 meeting:
Question #1: Network slicing is one of the main features of 5G networks and has been defined by 3GPP. GSMA NEST (NEtwork Slice Type) would like to understand how ServiceProfile from 3GPP TS 28.530 fits into IMT2020 network slice configuration?
Question #3: What is the relationship between ITUT NST (Network Slice Template) and GSMA GST (Generic network Slice Template) and 3GPP ServiceProfile?
Answer: ITUT Q21/13 has recognized the necessity of translation processes from GSMA GST into 3GPP ServiceProfile. Q21/13 is studying the processes with the analysis of IMT2020 usecases, and trying to define useful parameters and information for the processes without overlap between SDOs.
Separately, Network Slicing will be further defined in 3GPP Release 16.
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About Leo Lehmann:
Since April 2015, Leo Lehmann, PhD has been the elected Chairman of ITUT Study Group 13 (Future networks including cloud computing, mobile and nextgeneration networks). Prior to his election, Leo was the ITUT SG13 vicechairman and working party cochairman since October 2008.
Leo works full time at OFCOM Switzerland, taking care of the regulation of mobile and fixed/mobile converged networks. Prior to joining OFCOM (Switzerland’s regulator) in 2002, Leo held senior management positions in network engineering, system design and services at major telecommunications players on both the vendor and operator side of business.
From 2012 until 2014, Leo also was Vicechairman of the ITUT Focus Group on Disaster Relief Systems, Network Resilience and Recovery (FG DR& NRR). Afore he was the Rapporteur on “multimedia service mobility management” in the ITUT Study Group 16 (Multimedia Services) for many years.
An internationally recognized expert, Leo has worked in telecommunications for 24 years and has experience in private industry as well as the public sector.
As a designated expert on Next Generation Networks and Future Networks including 5G and Multimedia, he has contributed papers and talks at many conferences and workshops. Dr Lehmann is one of the winners of the best paper award of the ITUT Kaleidoscope event 2011 “The fully networked human? − Innovations for future networks and services.”
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References:
https://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/05/18/ieeecomsocpapersonnetworkslicingand5g/
https://www.itu.int/md/T17SG13190628TDWP10384 (Network Slicing RequirementsITU TIES users only)