The feasibility of transmitting discrete-variable quantum key distribution channels with carrier-grade classical optical channels over multicore fibers is experimentally explored in terms of achievable quantum bit error rates, secret key rates as well as classical signal bit error rates. A coexistence transmission record of 11.2 Tb/s is achieved for the classical channels simultaneously with a DV-QKD channel over a 1 km-long 7-core multicore fiber. Coexistence over the same multicore fiber core is identified as a dominant factor for the performance of the quantum channel requiring optical bandpass filtering of 17nm for the quantum channel to avoid the effect of Raman noise. Also, counter-propagation of classical channels and quantum channels probe more tolerance to noise proliferation than co-propagation. In addition, the performance of the quantum channel is maintained when more than three cores are used for the classical channels. Furthermore, by adding a second DV-QKD channel in the multicore fiber, the simultaneous transmission of classical channels as well as the generation of quantum-secured keys of two QKD channels is achieved with an operational range of 10dB of launched power into the MCF.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Early online date27 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 May 2020


  • Quantum key distribution
  • quantum and classical channel coexistence
  • spatial division multiplexing
  • Multicore fiber
  • bandwidth variable transceivers

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