March 17, 2023

Quantum is now? About my discoveries in the Mobile World Congress 2023


Let’s be honest. We frequently (and recently) see quantum computing companies, startups, or ventures and their projects being scrutinized on three major fronts: true and broad quantum advantage, false promises and technology, and more technical explanations underneath epic superlatives and headlines such as “quantum is now”. Having this in mind, it is interesting to evaluate how some players that I had the chance to meet in person during the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona have a similar goal in mind.

It's almost certain that we won't have a broad quantum advantage right now. I've explained why in my previous posts. However, a number of companies that offer quantum software and consulting services, such as Terra Quantum, Multiverse Computing, and Stafford Computing (to name a few), are putting this technology in the hands of companies in a variety of industries, with positive results in some cases. How is this possible if we still don’t have the quantum advantage and the machines are noisy and limited? This is because there is a way to extract benefits from the quantum side right now.

Quantum case as an example

D-Wave, which has been in the market for more than 20 years, is still involved in the debate over whether quantum annealing and their machines are true quantum computers, as well as whether the solutions truly come from the "quantum side" of the computation processes. But the truth is that some benefits are very tangible. Pier 300, which is the second largest container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, was analyzed using a digital twin with the help of D-Wave by the company SavantX. The goal was to improve the way the import yard worked, especially in terms of where shipping containers were put and when trucks were scheduled to pick them up, so that the containers could leave as quickly as possible. Under the same conditions and simulation, the quantum KPIs were much better than the classical approach in terms of distance, cutting it by 73% compared to the classical method while keeping the same number of deliveries (80).


I had the opportunity to speak with very interesting people about the quantum ecosystem at MWC23, as well as participate as a speaker in a roundtable of top voices in quantum technology organized by Barcelona qbit and Mobile World Capital. There are two conversations that I want to highlight about the subject of this article. One happened on the stage with the other speakers, who were Esperanza Cuenca from Multiverse Computing, Alfonso Rubio-Manzanares from Barcelona qbit, and Montse Guardia from Mobile Word Capital. All of them expressed a fundamental congruence in terms of:

  1. There is no exact date for quantum advantage.
  2. Quantum business value can be provided now.
  3. Invest in quantum now will pay dividends in the near-term future.

Read full article by Javier Mancilla here.