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PhD-CV-QKD Quantum cryptography applied to the constrained context of a telecom network-F/H

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About the role

Your role will be to carry out a thesis work on « CV-QKD Quantum cryptography applied to the constrained context of a telecommunications network: study and experimental implementation ».

Telecom operators have an increased need for security in their networks in order to offer a high level of security to their customers.

Amongst Quantum cryptography technologies we can cite discrete variable quantum key distribution (DV-QKD) which uses single photon receivers and continuous-variable key distribution (CV-QKD) technique relying on the transmission of coherent states in the fiber. As a result, CV-QKD reuses some technological bricks used in coherent transmissions and promises better compatibility with WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) systems already deployed. In the literature, and given the work planned in this thesis, it is appropriate to consider the publications reporting the co-propagation of the CV-QKD quantum channel(s) with several WDM channels [1, 2].

Orange has been involved for several years in collaborative projects [3] and collaborates in this context with renown academic and industrial international partners.

The main scientific objective of the thesis will be to study and experimentally evaluate CV-QKD quantum cryptography technology in the constrained context of telecom networks. The goal will be to define the best CV-QKD solution(s) and its/their implementation in order to improve the security of the operator's networks.

The thesis will focus on the study of the co-propagation of the quantum channel(s) with WDM channels. You will have at your disposal an experimental bench dedicated to CV-QKD and will also be able to take advantage of the experimental benches in WDM transmission available in the laboratory.

The experimental and numerical simulation work will complement each other to define the relevant CV-QKD solution(s) which will have to respect the engineering rules of the systems already deployed in the Orange networks while at the same time ensuring that it/they respect (and improve) the security protocols already in place.

The economic dimension will also have to be taken into account in order to allow a large-scale introduction into the networks. Evolution scenarios of the network towards a quantum internet could be deduced from this work.


1.     T.A. Eriksson, T. Hirano, B.J. Puttnam et al. “Wavelength division multiplexing of continuous variable quantum key distribution and 18.3 Tbit/s data channels”. Commun Phys 2, 9 (2019).

2.     S. Kleis et al. “Experimental Investigation of Heterodyne Quantum Key Distribution in the S-Band Embedded in a Commercial DWDM System”, Paper Th1.J.3, OFC’2019  (2019)


About you

This PhD position is in the field of quantum cryptography linked to coherent optical telecommunications. The required skills are those corresponding to an initial training in optical telecommunications, quantum physics and cryptography (master's level or engineering degree). A first practical internship in the quantum cryptography domain would be an advantage.

The key scientific and technical themes that will be addressed in the PhD are:

  • Coherent optical telecommunications systems

  • Digital communications, signal processing

  • Cryptography, security

  • Quantum physics and Quantum cryptography (Quantum Key Distribution).

Fluency in English and French is essential.

A master's degree or engineering degree in the field of optics and/or quantum physics is expected.

Experimental skills and a first experience on the targeted theme would be a plus.

Additional information

Your scientific thinking and your creativity will be stimulated and strengthened by the pragmatic and operational vision of Orange, a leading global operator with multiple types of jobs.

The targeted applications (security of optical transport networks) will allow you to benefit from the skills and synergy of complementary teams, with the possibility of training in different fields.

You will develop your skills in the most advanced cryptography techniques and join one of the best operator’s research laboratories in the field of optical communications, equipped with the best experimental tools in metrology, tests and measurements.

You will have at your disposal an experimental bench dedicated to CV-QKD work and can also take advantage of the experimental benches in WDM transmission available in the laboratory.

Your work will lead to scientific publications that you will present at related national or international conferences. On the other hand, your ideas may, if relevant, give rise to patent(s) filing. Finally, depending on the opportunities, participation in a national or European collaborative project (related to these studies) during the thesis is quite possible.


Orange Innovation brings together the research and innovation activities and expertise of the Group's entities and countries. We work every day to ensure that Orange is recognized as an innovative operator by its customers and we create value for the Group and the Brand in each of our projects. With 720 researchers, thousands of marketers, developers, designers and data analysts, it is the expertise of our 6,000 employees that fuels this ambition every day.

Orange Innovation anticipates technological breakthroughs and supports the Group's countries and entities in making the best technological choices to meet the needs of our consumer and business customers.

Within Innovation/Innovation, you will be in the SOAN (Synchronization and Optical Agile Network) team of the AOT (Architecture and Programmable Optical Transmission) department. SOAN is in charge of Research and Anticipation activities on WDM transmission systems and on agile and programmable optical transport networks. The team, has experimental optical transmission benches to evaluate the very latest technologies both in Research and in Anticipation.



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