Quantum key distribution (QKD) can offer communication with unconditional security and is a promising technology to protect next generation communication systems. For QKD to see commercial success, several key challenges have to be solved, such as integrating QKD signals into existing fiber optical networks. In this paper, we present experimental verification of QKD co-propagating with a large number of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) coherent data channels. We show successful secret key generation over 24 h for a continuous-variable QKD channel jointly transmitted with 100 WDM channels of erbium doped fiber amplified polarization multiplexed 16-ary quadrature amplitude modulation signals amounting to a datarate of 18.3 Tbit/s. Compared to previous co-propagation results in the C-band, we demonstrate more than a factor of 10 increase in the number of WDM channels and more than 90 times higher classical bitrate, showing the co-propagation with Tbit/s data-carrying channels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas