Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we present an upper bound for the quantum channel capacity that is both additive and convex. Our bound can be interpreted as the capacity of a channel for high-fidelity quantum communication when assisted by a family of channels that have no capacity on their own. This family of assistance channels, which we call symmetric side channels, consists of all channels mapping symmetrically to their output and environment. The bound seems to be quite tight, and for degradable quantum channels, it coincides with the unassisted channel capacity. Using this symmetric side channel capacity, we find new upper bounds on the capacity of the depolarizing channel. We also briefly indicate an analogous notion for distilling entanglement using the same class of (one-way) channels, yielding one of the few entanglement measures that is monotonic under local operations with one-way classical communication (1-LOCC), but not under the more general class of local operations with classical communication (LOCC).