NASA taps Nokia to bring LTE to the Moon

James Marshall
October 18, 2020

Things are about to change up there.

This isn't Nokia's first attempt to bring LTE to the Moon. The company has been in talks with NASA, and it has agreed to invest 14.1 million dollars to help Nokia achieve its dreams. This week, the space office said it will give Nokia 14.1 million in funding to work out a 4G LTE cellular network on the lunar surface. Unfortunately, previous plans to test the technology on the moon never came to be, as the launch set for 2019 never happened, and one of the companies working with Nokia filed for bankruptcy protection shortly after.

Nokia's plan is to build a 4G/LTE network, and eventually transition to 5G. NASA intends to finish the project by the end of the decade. "Vodafone Germany appoints Nokia as the technology partner to develop space-grade network weighing less than a bag of sugar", the official statement read. With the $14.1 million agreement, Nokia will inspect current earthly innovation and explore likely alterations to make it feasible in the lunar climate.

So why is NASA spending so much for the moon?

According to UPI, NASA said in a live broadcast of the announcement that the network would extend to spacecraft, and help develop technology fit for the moon.

Talking about NASA's initiative, the space agency's administrator Jim Bridenstine said that it is building up an array of mission-ready capabilities with private firms "to support a sustainable presence on the Moon and future human missions to Mars". Back in 2018, the company partnered with German space firm PTScientists and United Kingdom carrier Vodafone on a mission to return to the site of the Apollo 17 landing.

Still, the first time that Nokia started a similar project was a couple of years ago. Their technology will be even more reliable than earth standards and the network will reach greater distances at super-high speeds.

But right now the set up of 4G cellular network on the Moon appears to be for scientific and research purposes.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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