Nokia will launch 4G internet on the moon later this year to help expand lunar exploration

Nokia will launch 4G internet on the moon later this year to help expand lunar exploration
Nokia is debuting 4G on the moon.REUTERS/LEHTIKUVA/Roni Rekomaa
  • Nokia plans to put a 4G/LTE network on the moon later this year, CNBC reported.
  • The network will help potential lunar explorations, including plans to look for ice on the moon.

Apple and Samsung have effectively cornered the cell phone market in recent years, but one competitor is looking to expand its network to a new cosmic market — the moon.

Nokia is set to launch 4G internet on the moon later this year, CNBC reported, part of the company's ongoing relationship with NASA. According to the company, it aims to help NASA establish "sustainable exploration on the moon" with connectivity that supports HD video, robotics, applications, and a host of other capabilities.

The Finnish telecommunication company intends to launch the network on a SpaceX rocket later this year, CNBC reported.

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NASA selected Nokia to build the moon's inaugural cellular network in 2020, tasking it with "deploying the first LTE/4G communications system in space and helping pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface," per the announcement.

"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," according to the company.


According to CNBC, a major part of Nokia's plans to establish a network on the moon involve finding lunar ice, a crucial piece of moon exploration, which could be used for water, fuel, or even as an oxygen source.

Nokia's plan to introduce 4G to the moon includes an antenna-equipped base station on the moon and a solar-powered rover. The rover will communicate with the base station, creating an LTE connection, according to CNBC.

"It became evident to us that, for any sustained human presence on the Moon and Mars in the future, connectivity and communications are critical," Thierry E. Klein, head of the Interprise and Industrial Automation Research Lab at Nokia Bell Labs, said on the company's website.