Nokia has been chosen by NASA to build the first LTE/4G communications system in space. The presence of a 4G network on the moon will help NASA in its main’t goal towards a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface,” says Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer at Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs President.
Nokia’s Bell Labs will be utilized to build the network on the moon surface in late 2022. The network upgrade will ensure critical communication capabilities are carried out without so much fuss.
These include essential command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation, and high definition video streaming. Such capabilities will be very critical for the long-term human presence on the lunar surface.
Since 4G network precedes 5G, the moon will also be getting 5G in the nearest future, just like on the earth’s surface. Nokia says the network will self-configure upon deployment. Nokia’s lunar network system is also built to withstand harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing and extreme temperatures on the moon’s surface.
Bell Labs was awarded $14.1 million for the project.
Altogether, NASA awarded $370 million to over ten companies to deploy different technology on the moon surface like remote power generation, 4G among others. 4G will specifically help deliver the much-need reliable, longer-distance communication solution on the moon, according to NASA.
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,” Weldon said.