Nokia and NASA have entered into a partnership to build the first 4G LTE network on the Moon’s soil. This will serve the astronauts of the Artemis missions, landers, and rovers to be able to communicate efficiently.
It may seem like a joke, but it is not at all.
As part of the preparations to have a base on the Moon by 2028, NASA is now investing in the first lunar 4G network. The technology for this comes from the Finnish telecommunications company Nokia. Nasa puts the cost of the project at $14.1 million.
Marcus Weldon (CTO of Nokia and President of Nokia Bell Labs) said, “by leveraging our rich history of success in space technologies, from cutting-edge satellite communication to the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the Big Bang, we are now building the first cellular communications network on the Moon. Reliable, resilient, and high-capacity communications networks will be critical to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface. Building the first high-performance wireless network solution on the Moon, Nokia Bell Labs is still standing once planting the flag of pioneering innovation beyond conventional limits“.
The Nokia network structure dedicated to the Moon includes — 4G LTE radio base station with EPC functionality, RF antennas, and control software for operations and maintenance. All are focusing on resistance both at launch and landing as well as obviously survival on the lunar surface. Furthermore, in the future, there will also be the implementation of 5G-based communication technology.
As part of the Tipping Point tender, Nasa selected a total of 13 other companies in addition to Nokia. They are all set to develop technologies to get people back to the Moon by the end of the decade. The selected companies will receive a total of $ 370 million from NASA. Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX is also one of the beneficiaries of the tender and will receive $ 53.2 million.