Vodafone and Nokia to Set up 4G Network on the Moon. Seriously!

Vodafone and Nokia will establish a 4G communications network on the moon that will help future lunar missions too. 

Car and Bike
2 min read
Models of the Audi Quattro rovers that will explore the lunar surface. 

It’s not a joke.

Vodafone and Nokia will be setting up the first moon-based 4G communications network to beam back to Earth high definition video from the lunar surface. German space company PTScientists is planning a mission to the moon and had earlier tied up with Audi for two rovers that will explore the lunar surface.

Nokia and Vodafone will set up a base station on the moon near the Apollo 17 landing site in 2019. The base station will communicate with the two Audi quattro rovers roaming on the lunar surface using 4G LTE network. The 1,800 Mhz frequency band will be used to relay high-definition videos back to the lunar module, which will then relay it back to PTScientists earth station in Berlin, Germany.

A model of the lunar module with the 4G network base station next to the Audi quattro rover. 
A model of the lunar module with the 4G network base station next to the Audi quattro rover. 
(Photo Courtesy: PTScientists)

Nokia will be making the space-grade 4G equipment that will be lightweight. The 4G network from Vodafone will be used to communicate between the rovers and the base station, as 4G is more energy efficient than analog radio (a technology that was used in previous moon missions).

The 2019 moon mission by space-exploration company PTScientists is a privately-funded mission, which is exploring the moon as a potential human habitat in the future. Setting up a 4G network on the moon is seen as the first step at establishing a communications network for future lunar missions.

It’s interesting that Vodafone and Nokia are already exploring other markets – rather locations – for their network and hardware, given the intense competition these companies face on earth. And Audi is busy putting its four-wheel drive technology to use on the moon.

All the equipment on the moon will be solar powered and hence by deploying energy-efficient technologies, companies will be able to save energy for other scientific research on the moon.

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