Towards fast quantum key distribution with quantum frames

We propose and investigate a fibre-based quantum key distribution system, which employs polarization qubits encoded into faint laser pulses. As a novel feature, it allows sending of classical framing information via sequences of strong laser pulses that precede the quantum data. This allows synchronization, sender and\r\nreceiver identification, and compensation of time-varying birefringence in the communication channel. Furthermore, this method also provides a platform to communicate implementation specific information such as encoding and protocol in view of future optical quantum networks. All optical components can be operated at Gbps rates, which is a first requirement for Mbps secret key rates.