Nokia to Build First Ever Cellular Network, LTE/4G, on the Moon

Nokia has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to build the first-ever cellular network on the Moon, the first LTE/4G communications system in space. This has been announced by the brand just on Monday, October 19, 2020 through a news release and by the Bell Lab on October 15, 2020, through a Tweet.

As the brand is named by NASA as a partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the Moon, Nokia Bell Labs’ innovations will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in 2022. For this mission, Nokia reveals that they are partnering with Intuitive Machines.

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

– Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer at Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs President

Nokia’s Lunar Network

Nokia’s network is to provide communication capabilities for different data transmission applications such as remote control of lunar rovers, command and control functions, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video, which are all vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface.

  • LTE Base Station with integrated Evolved Packet Core functionalities
  • LTE User Equipment
  • RF antennas
  • High-reliability operations and maintenance control software

“NASA plans to leverage these innovations for its Artemis program, which will establish sustainable operations on the Moon by the end of the decade in preparation for an expedition to Mars,” stated Nokia in a news release.

Although Nokia is to start with 4G/LTE technologies, the brand has also unveiled their plan to pursue the space applications of 5G.

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Source: Nokia, Bell Labs Official Twitter

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