Nokia always has high aspirations and is now working on a project to introduce a 4G cellular communications network on the Moon. To aid his mission, Nokia and NASA will be working together where the latter has already awarded Nokia US $14.1 million to deploy a 4G cellular network on the moon. The Nokia 4G Moon network will support the wireless operation of lunar rovers and navigation, and will also make it possible to stream videos.
According to United Press International, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a live broadcast explained the space agency needs new technologies that will suit living and working on the moon. The need is to use innovations to achieve its goal of having astronauts working at a lunar base by 2028. He said, “We need power systems that can last a long time on the surface of the moon, and we need habitation capability on the surface.”
Nokia has shown interest in bringing high-speed cellular connectivity to the Moon in the past as well. To kick start its Artemis operations, NASA has even hired 14 American companies, including several small businesses as their partners to develop a range of technologies that will help achieve its target by the end of the decade. NASA wants to “build up an array of mission-ready capabilities to support a sustainable presence on the Moon and future human missions to Mars,” read the official statement. It also said, “The majority of the funding will help mature cryogenic fluid management technologies via in-space demonstrations led by small business Eta Space, Lockheed Martin, Space X, and ULA.”
It is assumed that, if everything goes well, the Nokia 4G Moon will be able to support lunar surface communications at greater distances with great speed, and will also prove to be more reliable than the current standards. The Nokia 4G Moon network will serve as a critical communications fabric that will help data transmission applications, and will also assist in effective control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation over lunar geography, and streaming of high definition videos.
This is not Nokia’s first venture in launching an LTE network on the moon. In 2018, Nokia had collaborated with Vodafone UK and PTScientists, a German space company, to launch an LTE network at the Apollo 17 landing site, but wasn’t too successful in doing so. In fact, the mission didn’t get off the ground.