Nokia is gearing up to launch 4G mobile network on the Moon, according to the details revealed by the company.

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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. CNBC reported that the smartphone brand is planning to launch the network in late 2023 to improve lunar findings and offer relief to astronauts that are on mission.

Nokia plans to launch the 4G mobile network on the moon via a SpaceX rocket in the near future. The network will be powered by an antenna-equipped base station stored in a Nova-C lunar lander and accompanied by a solar-powered rover. The LTE connection will be set up between the lander and the rover, with the network set to be utilized during NASA’s upcoming Artemis 1 mission, which aims to send human astronauts to walk on the moon for the first time since 1972.

The equipped 4G infrastructure will land on the Shackleton crater at the lunar south pole, the rims of which are said to be exposed to continuous sunlight to help the rover draw power.

The launch of the 4G network would make it easier for astronauts to communicate with their colleagues on mission control. Additionally, Nokia’s network would enable remote control of the rover, real-time video streaming, and transmission of telemetry data back to Earth. The terrestrial networks are expected to greatly enhance communication capabilities during space missions, facilitating more efficient exploration and discovery. In addition to this, Nokia is also reportedly aiming to discover ice on the moon with the help of its lunar network.

In October 2020, Nokia was selected by NASA to build the first-ever cellular network on the Moon

  • LTE/4G technology promises to revolutionize lunar surface communications by delivering reliable, high data rates while containing power, size, and cost.
  • Communications will be a crucial component of NASA’s Artemis program, which will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon by the end of the decade.

Espoo, Finland said Nokia has announced further details after 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 towarda s sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.

To be clear, Nokia here involves a Finland-based telecommunications group, not the brand that makes Android devices, which HMD Global handles. According to Luis Maestro Ruiz De Temino, Nokia’s principal engineer, the company is planning to launch the 4G network via a SpaceX rocket in the coming months.

Nokia is expected to launch the network later this year if things go as planned. “If the hardware is ready and validated as it seems to be, there is a good chance they could launch in 2023 as long as their launch partner of choice doesn’t have any setbacks or delays,” Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy told CNBC.

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