Nokia plans to launch 4G on Moon by this year
Nokia is planning to launch 4G services on the Moon, with the aim of facilitating lunar discoveries. The technology could be helpful for NASA's upcoming Artemis missions, which intend to land astronauts on the lunar surface, some 50 years after the Apollo astronauts set foot on the Moon. The company is preparing to launch the LTE network by the end of this year.
Why does this story matter?
- Nokia revealed its plans to launch 4G network on the Moon at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event, held in Barcelona, earlier this month.
- In 2020, the company collaborated with NASA to build the "first-ever cellular network on the Moon."
- Nokia's 4G infrastructure promises to "revolutionize lunar surface communications" and will be imperative for future lunar missions, especially the Artemis program.
Nokia claims its technology can survive harsh conditions in space
Nokia's 4G network will be supported by a solar-powered rover and an antenna-equipped base station kept in a Nova-C lunar lander, which is designed by Intuitive Machines, a US-based space company. An LTE (Long-Term Evolution) connection will be forged between the lander and the rover. The company claims that the technology is built to outlast the harsh environment of space.
The lander will be launched aboard a SpaceX rocket
The lander will launch aboard a SpaceX rocket. However, the rocket will not ferry the lander all the way to the lunar surface. The latter is equipped with a propulsion system for that purpose. "The network will self-configure upon deployment," said Nokia. The framework will dock at the Shackleton crater region, located on the southern side of the Moon.
Nokia's 4G network will "provide critical communication capabilities"
Nokia's 4G network, which will support both audio and video communications, will make it easier for astronauts to relay information to the mission controllers, including telemetry and biometric data. Nokia said the "network will provide critical communication capabilities for many different data transmission applications, including vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video."
The mission is expected to launch in 2023
There is a "good chance" that Nokia's 4G network will launch in 2023, provided the launch partner does not face "any setbacks or delays," said Anshel Sag, from Moor Insights and Strategy to CNBC.