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NASA picks Nokia to build first cellular network on Moon

Finland’s Nokia is set to take a giant leap by building the first end-to-end 4G network on the Moon.Adobe

Technologies from Nokia Bell Labs will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-powered and space-hardened end-to-end LTE network on the lunar surface by 2022, paving the way for sustainable human presence on the Moon.

The Finnish network equipment manufacturer was selected for the project by NASA.

“Leveraging our rich and successful history in space technologies, from pioneering satellite communication to discovering the cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the Big Bang, we are now building the first ever cellular communications network on the Moon,” Marcus Weldon, the chief technology officer at Nokia and president at Nokia Bell Labs, declared.

The network will consist of a base station with evolved packet core functionalities, user equipment, radio-frequency antennas and high-reliability operations and maintenance control software. It will be delivered to the lunar surface aboard the lunar lander of Intuitive Machines, an aerospace engineering company based in Houston, Texas.

“By building the first high-performance wireless network solution on the Moon, Nokia Bell Labs is once again planting the flag for pioneering innovation beyond the conventional limits,” stated Weldon.

Astronauts on the Moon will utilise the network for critical communication tasks ranging from voice command and communication to real-time navigation, streaming of high-definition video, exchange of biometric data, and control of lunar rovers and sensor payloads.

By: Aleksi Teivainen