Nokia is a Finnish network giant that will partner up with Nasa to deploy the first LTE (4G) wireless communications system on the Moon.

Nasa is planning to use the Moon as a launching point for future space explorations, which includes the mission to Mars.

Nokia Bell Labs will build in late 2022 the first “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface,” in deploy it, according to a company release.

To carry out the effort, Nokia is to partner with US-based space products and services firm Intuitive Machines. Nokia said that once the lunar wireless network is established, it will provide communication capabilities for command and control activities, remote control of lunar vehicles, navigation as well as high-definition video streaming.

Nokia’s CTO and Nokia Bell Labs President, Marcus Weldon, said the firms’ experience in space and satellite technologies will help to establish the first cellular communications network in space.

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

Nokia said Nasa aims to establish operations on the Moon as a future launch site for an expedition to Mars by the end of this decade.

Intuitive Machines announced last week that it had been awarded Nasa’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract to deliver gear and technology to search and drill for ice and water on the Moon, as the space agency prepares to establish a human presence on the lunar surface.


Toni Pitkänen

Source: Yle