Nokia to build moon's first 4G cell network for NASA program

Pablo Tucker
October 20, 2020

Instead, Nokia and NASA are planning to get a 4G network set up... on the moon. The company has shown interest in bringing high-speed cellular connectivity to the Moon in the past as well but now NASA has made a decision to give Nokia $14.1 million for the same.

Once in place, the network will offer communications support for data transmission, control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high-definition video.

Bell Labs said that, over time, it will upgrade the network to 5G, which is just starting to roll out to consumers in the United States.

The investment is part of NASA's "Tipping Point" scheme, which funds lunar tech developments for its "Artemis" programme.

Finland based Nokia which is one of the oldest mobile and telecommunication companies has been selected by American space agency National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA) to build the first ever cellular network on the lunar surface.

The Finnish telecoms giant has been chosen to build the Moon's first cellular network, as the agency prepares for a future where humans return - and this time stay put.

"The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards", the announcement also reads.

Nokia's network equipment will be installed remotely on the Moon's surface using a lunar hopper built by Intuitive Machines in late 2022, Nokia said. These communication applications are all vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface.

According to United Press International, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a live broadcast that if NASA wants to meet its goal of seeing astronauts working on the moon by 2028, it will have to develop new technology rapidly.

The solution has been specially created to withstand the harsh conditions of the launch as well as the lunar landing and to operate in the extreme conditions of space.

"Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface", Weldon added.

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