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5G Network Slicing with QKD and Quantum-Safe Security

By Paul Wright, Catherine White, Ryan C. Parker, Jean-Sebastien Pegon, Marco Menchetti, Joseph Pearse, Arash Bahrami, Anastasia Moroz, Adrian WonforTimothy P. Spiller, Richard V. Penty, Andrew Lord.

Submitted to arXiv on 7 July 2020.

We demonstrate how the 5G network slicing model can be extended to address data security requirements. In this work we demonstrate two different slice configurations, with different encryption requirements, representing two diverse use-cases for 5G networking: namely, an enterprise application hosted at a metro network site, and a content delivery network. We create a modified software-defined networking (SDN) orchestrator which calculates and provisions network slices according to the requirements, including encryption backed by quantum key distribution (QKD), or other methods. Slices are automatically provisioned by SDN orchestration of network resources, allowing selection of encrypted links as appropriate, including those which use standard Diffie-Hellman key exchange, QKD and quantum-resistant algorithms (QRAs), as well as no encryption at all. We show that the set-up and tear-down times of the network slices takes of the order of 1-2 minutes, which is an order of magnitude improvement over manually provisioning a link today.

Read the whole paper here.