Nokia Is Going to Put a 5G Network on the Moon
In the not so very distant future, the Moon could have faster Internet than your home. That’s because NASA has contracted telecoms giant Nokia for a $14.1-million project to build a cellular network on the Moon.
Nokia has been awarded the project, which is part of NASA’s Tipping Point projects meant to advance research and development for space exploration.
Initially, Nokia will build a 4G/LTE network on the Moon, which it will eventually upgrade to 5G.
“The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards,” said NASA in a statement. “It will be the first 4G/LTE communications system in space.”
Bell Labs, Nokia’s research and development arm, took to Twitter to announce the development.
To the moon! ????— Bell Labs (@BellLabs) October 15, 2020
We are excited to have been named by @NASA as a key partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the moon, to help pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
So, what technology can you expect to see? (1/6) pic.twitter.com/wDNwloyHdP
“Our pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first wireless network on the moon, starting with #4G/LTE technologies and evolving to 5G,” wrote Bell Labs.
But bringing Earth tech to the Moon will not be easy.
Among the primary challenges faced by NASA and Nokia will be to miniaturize the equipment for 5G because NASA likes to keep the weight of its payload very light. Currently, it costs $10,000 or roughly P500,000 to put a pound of payload in Earth orbit.
Nokia’s Bell Labs added, “This fully integrated cellular network meets the stringent size, weight and power constraints of space payloads in the smallest possible form factor.”
The company will also design devices that can withstand the extreme temperature, radiation, and vacuum conditions of space. The hardware must also withstand the vibrational impact during launch and landing on the Moon’s surface.