Nokia to build first cellular network on Moon in 2022

Nokia is being named by NASA as a partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the Moon, deploying the first LTE/4G communications system in space and helping pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
Nokia Bell Labs’ pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022.

Nokia is partnering with Intuitive Machines for this mission to integrate this groundbreaking network into their lunar lander and deliver it to the lunar surface. The network will self-configure upon deployment and establish the first LTE communications system on the Moon.

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. These communication applications are all vital to long-term human presence on the lunar surface.

Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer at Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs President said, “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.”

Nokia’s lunar network consists of an LTE Base Station with integrated Evolved Packet Core (EPC) functionalities, LTE User Equipment, RF antennas and high-reliability operations and maintenance (O&M) control software. The solution has been specially designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing and to operate in the extreme conditions of space. The fully integrated cellular network meets very stringent size, weight and power constraints of space payloads in an extremely compact form factor.

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